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Edinburgh courts: Former Hibs player admits to drunken struggle with police officers at Leith property

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A former Hibs star has been ordered to carry out unpaid work after he admitted a drunken struggle with police officers.

Graeme Love, 50, lashed out with his arms and legs in an attempt to evade arrest after officers had been called out to remove him from a property in Leith, Edinburgh. The former Scotland U-21 internationalist was arrested and spent a night in the cells to sober up before appearing in court the next day following the incident in February 2022.

Love – who played for the Easter Road club between 1991 and 1997 – pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to evade arrest by police officers when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today, Wednesday, May 1.

Four allegations of assault and uttering threats of violence during the same episode were dropped by the Crown prior to his guilty plea.

Prosecutor Debbie King told the court Love was at a property in the Leith area of the capital when police were called out to at around 2.30pm on February 26, 2022. Ms King said the retired footballer became aggressive towards the constables and after they asked him to “calm down” they were forced “to take hold of his arms”.

The fiscal depute said: “At which point he tensed his arms and clenched his fists and began to struggle with the officers. He attempted to hide his arms underneath his body and lashed out with his legs in an attempt to prevent him from being handcuffed.

“He was thereafter handcuffed and continued to lash out with his arms and legs and the accused was arrested and taken to the station for processing.”

Former Hibs player Graeme Love, 50, pictured outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court, lashed out with his arms and legs in an attempt to evade arrest after officers had been called out to remove him from a property in Leith, Edinburgh
Former Hibs player Graeme Love, 50, pictured outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court, lashed out with his arms and legs in an attempt to evade arrest after officers had been called out to remove him from a property in Leith, Edinburgh

Solicitor Euan Gosney, defending, said his client is currently unemployed and had become involved in “a regrettable incident” with the police. Mr Gosney said Love had been lying on a sofa “intoxicated” when five police officers arrived at the flat after they had been called out to remove him from the property.

The lawyer said the row had erupted after Love had “tried to explain he wanted to take his dog with him” but police had “resisted” that request. Mr Gosney added Love “properly accepts responsibility” for his unruly behaviour and he had spent a night in the police cells after being arrested.

The court was told Love had been “drinking alcohol to excess” at the time due to a family bereavement and a breakdown in his marriage.

Mr Gosney said: “Since this offence he has not come to the attention of the authorities and he has taken steps to address the issues in his own life,”

Sheriff Charles Walls sentenced Love, of Burdiehouse, Edinburgh, to a community payback order as direct alternative to paying a fine and ordered him to complete 70 hours of unpaid work.

Love signed for Scottish Premier League side Hibernian from capital youth outfit Salvesen Boys Club in 1992 and played a total of 39 times for the Edinburgh club over six seasons. The defender, who was capped by his country at Under 21 level, then plied his trade in the lower leagues turning out for Ayr United, Queen of the South, Clydebank, East Fife and Stirling Albion.

Love stepped down to Junior level and joined his hometown club Bathgate Thistle in 2001 and played in the club’s famous Scottish Junior Cup winning side seven years later. He managed the club between 2009 and 2012 before ending his playing career with Livingston United.

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