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Are Hearts culpable in the Thomson Sex Offender saga?

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It has been reported in this morning’s papers that Hearts bosses were warned about convicted Sex Offender Craig’ Thomson’s behaviour SIX MONTHS before he was arrested.

According to the Daily Record, the Tynecastle side received a complaint from a parent raising concerns over the player’s online activities. And despite these warnings, the club’s officials let him continue to teach PE in local primary and secondary schools.

Even after charges were brought against Thomson, for preying on young girls on the internet, the defender continued to represent Hearts at events involving Children, including signing club shirts for youngsters to publicise the kids’ charity Barnardo’s.

An unnamed source said: “Craig was good friends with one of the girls he preyed on. He helped teach her PE at her high school. He was very keen to be involved with the kids’ football. The pupils treated him like a hero. He would ask the first-year girls if they had PE and he got to know their timetables. I know at least one parent who went to Craig’s door to confront him about pestering his daughter. But he just denied it. I’m really glad he’s been caught and the club must sack him. He’s an arrogant young man who thought he could get away with it.”

And in May, a mum took two of her children to get their shirts signed by Thomson and teammate Ryan McGowan, and having their photographs taken with them at an autograph session in a Barnardo’s shop, unknown to her that Thomson was facing trial over sex offences.

Her husband said: “When I explained the situation to my wife, she was furious. What on earth were Hearts thinking about letting him continue to represent the club at events involving kids?”

Barnardo’s stated that Hearts had not told them about the court case.

Last Friday, Thomson was found guilty of lewd and libidinous behaviour at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, and placed on the Sex Offender’s register for five years and fined £4000.

The defender will discover tomorrow if his career at Tynecastle is at an end, when he meets manager Jim Jefferies and Managing Director David Southern for talks.

Jefferies said: “This looks serious and there are lots of accusations flying about. We’ll speak to him to find out what happened then decide what action to take.”

Questions must now be raised about the way Hearts have dealt with the whole issue. Ignoring a complaint from a parent is bad enough, but to continue sending the player to teach PE in schools and be around children AFTER being arrested is inexcusable. Yes people can say innocent before proven guilty, and hindsight is a great thing. BUT precautions should have been taken and postpone Thomson attending such events until the case was cleared up.

Hearts have officially refused to comment on the ongoing situation with Thomson.

Source: Daily Record

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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