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Bail breach Arrest warrant issued for ex-Irish international Anthony Stokes over missed court appearance

The former Celtic appeared for Rovers in a trial game last Tuesday and was at the club’s training ground on Thursday.

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Anthony Stokes made over 100 appearances for Celtic.

Anthony Stokes made over 100 appearances for Celtic.

Anthony Stokes made over 100 appearances for Celtic.

Former Celtic and Republic of Ireland footballer Anthony Stokes is the subject of a Scottish arrest warrant for failing to appear in court.

The striker was due to face sentencing after pleading guilty to breaching a non-harassment order after he sent a barrage of offensive text messages to his ex-girlfriend Eilidh Scott’s father.

Stokes reportedly told his lawyer that he was undergoing trials for Shamrock Rovers in Dublin and did not appear at the sentencing hearing.

Stokes appeared for Rovers in a trial game last Tuesday and was at the club’s training ground on Thursday.

Hamilton Court Sheriff Allan McKay issued a warrant for Stokes’ arrest, saying he didn’t believe Stokes would return to Scotland to face sentencing unless he was forced to do so by police.

Stokes, who made 135 appearances for Celtic and nine for the Republic of Ireland senior side, had admitted sending the messages to his ex-girlfriend’s father but failed to appear in court for sentencing on Thursday.

Michael Gallen, defending solicitor, told the court: “Mr Stokes hasn’t worked in 16 months and was offered a trial with a professional football club in Dublin.

“He couldn’t miss this opportunity and travelled but did have full intention of being back in court.

“He had been in Glasgow until the start of this week but that changed when the opportunity arose for him to be in employment.

“The offending in this case concluded in February of last year, during which time there has been no further offending on his part.”

Sheriff McKay said: “The attitude I get is that he frankly does what he wishes and that is not acceptable to me. He should be here and I have an explanation which holds no water.

“He pled guilty and was released on bail and he has now left the country in breach of bail.

“He is not here in breach of his bail conditions and I’m not at all sure that he will come back unless required to do so by some sort of authority — so to do that, I’m issuing a warrant for his arrest.”

Stokes had previously pleaded guilty to harassing Ms Scott and was sent on an anti-domestic abuse course following his admission of sending abusive messages to his former girlfriend.

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