Rangers fan facing jail after online threat to kill Neil Lennon

The online threats were made after Neil Lennon's Hibernian team beat Rangers 3-2 in August
The online threats were made after Neil Lennon's Hibernian team beat Rangers 3-2 in August

A Rangers fan has admitted threatening to kill Hibernian manager and ex-Northern Ireland international Neil Lennon in a foul-mouthed Facebook rant.

An incensed Sean Cowan said he would get a gun and shoot the former Celtic captain and manager in the head after he cupped his ears in celebration during Hibs’ win at Ibrox.

Cowan, 54, made the remarks on the Facebook page of Rangers fan site Follow Follow on Saturday, August 12, following Hibs’ 3-2 victory over Rangers.

At around 10pm that night, he posted three comments, which read: “Somebody give me a weapon and I will shoot this little terrorist c*** in the head with impunity.

“I’m serious. I would.

“I can get one, not a problem. Police Scotland are probably all over it now though. I have previous for firearms so I’m expecting a chap soon.”

Cowan tried to cover his tracks by deleting the messages from the social media site.

But he was snared thanks to an unnamed witness who took screenshots of the messages and passed them to police – leading to his arrest and conviction.

And he now faces being jailed for the offence when he returns to the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court next month to learn his fate.

The details emerged on Tuesday when Cowan, of Johnstone, Renfrewshire, appeared in the dock for a pre-trial hearing.

He struck a deal with prosecutors which saw him plead guilty to one charge in exchange for the second being dropped.

Procurator Fiscal Depute Pamela Flynn said that the matter was reported to Police Scotland’s Football Coordination Unit on August 14 – two days after the comments had been made.

Police began investigating further and while Cowan’s Facebook account was still active, he had deleted the comments.

But the person who initially contacted police – who was not named in court – had copied them and passed them to police.

Officers then headed to Cowan’s home to detain him and, when cautioned and charged, he said: “I’m disgusted.”

Defence solicitor Terry Gallanagh said: “Essentially the background is that there was a game at Ibrox involving Rangers and Hibernian.

“While many people on this internet site – the idiots, frankly –- state to ‘never surrender’ or say ‘no surrender’ Mr Cowan has surrendered and accepted his responsibility.

“He is truly sorry and disgusted with himself.”

Mr Gallanagh had asked Sheriff Vincent Canavan to deal with Cowan there and then.

But the sheriff ruled the matter was too serious to be dealt with on the spot and had to call for background reports from social workers ahead of sentencing.

Cowan, who has previous convictions for assault and assault to severe injury, was released on bail and could be caged when he returns to the dock next month.