Boxing coach fractured man’s skull and bruised his brain in Old Firm bust-up


A boxing coach is facing jail after an Old Firm day brawl in Renfrew left his rival with a bruised brain and fractured skull.

Derek Robertson lay motionless on the ground after Scott Gethins knocked him out during the attack.

According to a witness, Robertson’s skull struck the ground with such force that it sounded like « a really old waterlogged football » and blood quickly began to pour from the man’s ear.

After being rushed to hospital, Robertson’s injuries were confirmed as a fractured skull and and a bruised brain.

As reported by the Daily Record, prosecutors claim he was also left deaf in his left ear following the brutal scuffle.

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Gethins has admitted he hit Robertson but has denied assaulting him, claiming he acted in self-defence after being attacked and abused by Robertson and his wife, Lesley Ann.

The incident occurred March 31, 2019, just hours after Celtic had won over Rangers in a Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park.

Gethins told his Paisley Sheriff Court trial he was branded ‘a F****n’ by Mrs Robertson, who also made comments about people « not coming from Renfrew ».

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He said he was kicked and punched by her after having the sectarian slur thrown at him, and said Mr Robertson punched him in the face before he lifted his hands.

He claimed he punched Mr Robertson once and pushed Mrs Robertson once, in self-defence, causing them both to end up on the ground.

And he told the court that he is a boxing coach who teaches kids from the age of seven and knows how to throw a punch.

BBC Scotland journalist Mike Farrell, who works as a reporter with the broadcaster, said he saw the attack while going to buy beer after the game.

He said he was so worried about what he’d witnessed he feared the man may die, so immediately called 999.

And he said he was so shaken up by what he’d seen he couldn’t drink any of the beers when he got home.

The 33-year-old said: « Celtic and Rangers had been playing earlier in the day.

« I had been at home with my wife and son, who was nine or ten months old at the time.

« At night I went out to the shops. »

He said he saw Gethins punching Robertson in the face – and knocking him out.

He explained: « You could tell instantly that the man was unconscious – he was out cold before he hit the floor.

« When his head hit the pavement it sounded really kinda dull and wet, like a really old waterlogged football kinda thud on the ground.

« I thought, ‘this guy could be a goner’. I thought, ‘this guy could be dead’. Blood started coming out of one of his ears.

« I had my phone out and was dialling 999. There was a pool of blood coming out of his ear on the floor.

« I was going to the shop to get some beers and I remember, by the time I got home, I didn’t have any – I was that shaken up by it. »

On Monday, the jury convicted Gethins, of Renfrew, of both charges – assaulting Mr Robertson to his severe injury and permanent impairment by punching him on the head, causing him to fall to the ground, and assaulting Mr Robertson, to her severe injury, by punching her on the head, causing her to fall to the ground.

Sheriff Bruce Erroch QC called for background reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing, adjourned the case until next month and continued Gethins’ bail.

Celtic won the match in question 2-1, thanks to goals from Odsonne Edouard and James Forrest, in a game which saw Ryan Kent score for Rangers and Alfredo Morelos and Andy Halliday sent off.