City star court punishment will hit promotion bid

Darryl McHardy - five months restriction order a blow for his club
Darryl McHardy – five months restriction order a blow for his club’s promotion hopes

AN ELGIN CITY footballer described as vital in the club’s promotion race has been banned from playing at away games – by an Elgin Sheriff.

Darryl McHardy, who is currently stand-in skipper for the Moray SPFL 2 side, reappeared at Elgin Sheriff Court on Thursday for sentencing after assaulting an off-duty paramedic in an Elgin nightclub.

McHardy was warned last month that he may face a restriction of liberty order – and when the footballer appeared before the sheriff on Thursday that was confirmed when he was sentenced to a five month curfew.

Now McHardy must remain at his Elgin home between 7pm and 7am – and that means he cannot travel with his club to away games nor play in any rearranged evening matches.

The restriction will be seen as a severe blow to Elgin City who are currently just three points behind league leaders Clyde in the race for promotion. The order would also affect McHardy should Elgin City be involved in play-offs for a second promotion place in the league.

At his previous appearance the court heard how McHardy had been attending a wedding dance in August last year and had been drinking throughout the day. He bumped into an off-duty paramedic Kris O’Neil when leaving Joanna’s Nightclub and became involved in a verbal exchange that resulted in the footballer head-butting Mr O’Neil.

Sentencing McHardy, Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov said that he had disfigured his victim for life and caused him to suffer confidence issues and take time off his work.

She added that while noting the impact a restriction of liberty order would have, the Sheriff imposed the five-month order along with 160 hours of unpaid work over the next nine months.

The sheriff also ordered McHardy to pay £1000 in compensation to his victim.