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'Not Proven' verdict sees Elgin City striker Kane Hester cleared of defrauding Bet365

By Court Reporter

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ELGIN City striker Kane Hester has been cleared of defrauding a bookmaker.

Hester (27) and his friends Calvin Parrott (27) and Brodie Stewart Myres (29) were cleared by a jury of scamming nearly £14,000 from Bet365.

The jury took less than an hour to find the charge not proven against the trio after hearing five days of evidence at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Kane Hester could still face questions from football authorities despite the not proven verdict.
Kane Hester could still face questions from football authorities despite the not proven verdict.

Hester's future playing career is likely to remain in the balance as football chiefs are expected to study evidence led during the case.

Outside court, Hester was asked to comment on what the case meant for his football career and replied: "No, sorry."

The trial heard that Hester had exchanged messages in advance of a cup match against Hibs in July 2019 in which he agreed he would deliberately get booked.

It was agreed that his friends had bet thousands of pounds online on Hester being booked and made nearly £14,000 when referee Willie Collum showed the forward a yellow card.

During a police raid on Hester's home after the match, detectives found £2,400 which he freely admitted he had been paid as part of the plot.

But the jury believed Hester's claim that when the match began he got caught up in the moment and forgot about what he had previously agreed to do.

He claimed he was an aggressive player and the "bad foul" on a Hibs player was just part of the match. However, the trial heard that he only averaged one booking every 17 games.

The court was shown footage of Hester's home being raided and the footballer telling officers he knew what they were there for and would take them to the cash.

Hester said: "Do you know what would be easier? I know what you are talking about. There's no point mucking you about.

"I've got the money, it's at home. If I take you home and give you the money, that's what happened.

"I was booked in a game and my friends gave me money for it - £2,500."

Findlay Soutar (26) - who had the charge against him dropped during the trial - said £12,500 appeared in his Bet365 account after the match and said large bets had been placed through his account by co-accused Brodie Myres.

He told the jury he was paid £500 by Myres for the use of his account.

Soutar agreed that oil worker Myres was a semi-professional gambler whose own Bet365 account had been limited to £5 bets because he was winning too much money.

The court heard Myres owned a part-share in a horse and greyhounds and had also been banned by another bookmaker, William Hill.

Myres, who works in oil research and development, told the court that he often laid large bets and had once lost a £9,000 bet.

He admitted sending a message to Parrott advising him to tell Hester to "bloody half someone if he's not got one (a booking) by 30 minutes." Hester was booked on 29 minutes during the televised BetFred Cup match.

The jury was told that Myres, Parrott, Soutar and Hester's brother Lloyd Hester had all been members of a private Facebook group called Gamblers Elite.

Parrott and Myres handed £2,500 to Hester after being paid out by the betting firm.

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