A young Dundee United player has been cleared of racially abusing a Stirling man during an incident involving a ferret.
18 year old Dale Hilson, currently on loan to Second Division Forfar Athletic, had been accused of "in concert with 2 other men participating in the racial abuse of a man who was out walking his ferret.
Anthony Lasota had been walking along a Stirling street with his pet ferret Merritt when he encountered Hilson and two friends who immediately struck up a conversation with him.
Initially the discussion was quite amiable but suddenly tempers began to get frayed and Lasota claimed that Hilson exclaimed "Why don't you get back to Yorkshire and take your cloth cap and ferret with you ?"
Although Hilson and his acquaintances left at this point, Lasota was left "feeling stunned and humiliated" by the incident as he was a native of Lancashire and the suggestion that he might have Yorkshire parentage was the most grievous of insults.
But Sheriff John Sayer ruled that there was no evidence of the offensive remark and Hilson and co were found not guilty.