May 20 2011 by Jennifer Buchanan, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
A FOOTBALL star has been cleared of assaulting a man.
Rangers and Scotland defender Kirk Broadfoot was accused of punching Ayr businessman Andrew Nicol during a bust-up at Ayr’s Gartferry Court last May.
When Mr Nicol took the stand last week he told the court that Broadfoot had threatened him and hit him on the right side of his face.
Mr Nicol said the arguments had started when a group of men started banging on his girlfriend’s flat window.
But Broadfoot’s defence lawyer, QC Paul McBride, argued that it was Mr Nicol who had gone outside in rage and started the argument.
Broadfoot, who stays in Mauchline, took the stand on Tuesday to give his side of the story.
The 27-year-old told the court that he had been on a night out with friends and was “pretty drunk” but had been enjoying himself and having a good time.
He said: “Andrew had approached me before because I had his old car.
“We were slagging each other that night. It was banter.
“I never did anything wrong.”
Mhairi Hepburn, Mr Nicol’s girlfriend, earlier admitted slapping Broadfoot on the same night.
But she claimed that she did this in retaliation for Broadfoot punching her boyfriend.
When asked by the depute fiscal why he hadn’t reported his own assault to police Broadfoot answered: “I didn’t need the hassle at that time in my career.
“I was shocked when the police arrested me for assault.
“If I’m found guilty it will probably hurt my profile.”
But following a two day trial in front of Sheriff Norman McFadyen at Ayr Sheriff Court, Broadfoot was found not guilty of breach of the peace and the assault allegation was found to be not proven.