A CELTIC fan shouted sectarian abuse at his Rangers supporting fiancée after her relatives sang ‘offensive’ songs at their engagement party, Greenock Sheriff Court has heard.

Edward Rodriguez flew into a foul-mouthed rage against long term partner Gillian Govan following the boozy celebration at the town’s Cruden Hall venue.

His lawyer, Gerry Keenan, said: “It is a matter of some considerable regret that such a significant and happy event degenerated in the way it did after parties left Cruden Hall.

“The accused is Catholic and the complainer Protestant. He is a Celtic fan and she Rangers and their extended families have the same allegiances.

“The trigger came towards the end of the night when certain songs were being sung by his partner’s family that Mr Rodriguez considered offensive.

“Matters progressed and he is ashamed of the manner in which he addressed his partner.”

The court heard how dad-of-two Rodriguez, 34, was ‘agitated and angry’ as he ‘paced’ a bedroom at Ms Govan’s home on Cathcart Street on August 5.

Prosecutor Pamela Brady said: “He looked at gifts, opened cards and took money.

“The argument developed further and Gillian Govan contacted the police.

“The accused shouted and also swore as he stated, ‘Nae one’s gonnae touch me’.

“Gillian Govan also contacted her sister who heard the full incident on the phone.”

The court was told that Rodriguez, of Kilcreggan View, called Ms Govan a ‘liar’ and also made a sectarian and abusive remark regarding her religion.

Fiscal depute Mrs Brady said: “She believed that the comments were due to the particular football team she supports.

“The accused was traced to his own home later and he gave a no comment interview to police.”

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, shouting, swearing, acting aggressively and shouting abuse of a sectarian nature.

Solicitor Mr Keenan said that his client considered the matter to have been a ‘one-off’.

Mr Keenan added: “Parties have resumed their relationship and they intend to marry next year.

“Mr Rodriguez has learnt his lesson as to the dangers of consuming alcohol.” 

Sheriff Daniel Kelly told Rodriguez: “I accept what has been said on your behalf but the court views matters such as this very seriously.

“Your position is that this was a one-off, so I’m going to put that to the test.”

The sheriff deferred sentence for Rodriguez to be of good behaviour until March 28.

But he warned him: “If you are not of good behaviour then all sentencing options are open to the court.”