Vandals leave police clues in the snow


By Andrea McCallum

POLICE are on track to find the fire-raisers who targeted a junior football club’s grounds – after footprints were left in the snow at the scene of the crime.

Vandals left clues to their illegal activity after torching a Portakabin within Creamery Park in Bathgate on Thursday night.

And the heavy snowfall could have provided cops with the perfect lead.

One resident living near the pitches – used by Bathgate Thistle Junior Football Club – alerted the fire brigade at about 8pm.

Jim Paxton, grounds man at the site, said three or four sets of footprints were visible.

He said: “Their footprints were in the snow and you could see that they had tried to get into the other sheds in the grounds.

“The police were already there looking at them, and we walked around and saw there must have been a few people.

“There was no damage to the other ones but they broke off the latch and broke a window on the Portakabin before setting it alight.

“You could see where they had run and then they must have jumped over the fence which is about seven or eight foot high.

“The shed has been broken into before but they have never put a light to it.

“I think it’s so sad – in this day and age when football clubs are struggling it’s heart-breaking to see people in society doing something like this.”

Mr Paxton said the attackers set a plastic training cone on fire before tossing it into the Portakabin where the club stored their indoor nets, worth about 100 pounds.

He added: “The nets are wasted, I had to repair the latch and the window will have to be replaced.

“The fire brigade got to the place in time so thankfully we can still use the Portakabin.”

Police confirmed they attended the scene.

They  appealed for witnesses to contact Bathgate Police Station on 01506652323 or Crimestoppers on 0800555 111.

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