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Solicitor details Anthony Stokes’ nightmare prison stay and ‘fears for his safety’ as he’s sentenced

Solicitor details Anthony Stokes’ nightmare prison stay and ‘fears for his safety’ as he’s sentenced by court on Friday.

The 35 year old footballer has been sentenced to five months in prison for violating court orders by contacting his former partner, despite his attorney’s argument that spending a month in jail awaiting sentencing had been ‘unpleasant’ and humbling for him.

Released from his cell at HMP Addiewell in central Scotland, Stokes appeared in handcuffs at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Friday. After serving 28 days, there was speculation that he might not return to prison for the harassment of his ex-girlfriend Eilidh Scott and her parents, as well as for breaching the no-contact order.

However, Sheriff Colin Dunipace made the decision to incarcerate Stokes, hailing from Dublin, following his reprimand for his behaviour towards his ex-partner. Additionally, he imposed a five-year restraining order preventing any contact between Stokes and Ms. Scott, as well as a one-year ban on contacting her parents, Daily Mail reports.

Sheriff Dunipace said: ‘It is extremely disappointing for this court to see someone like you, who is clearly a man of some talent and ability, who has so much to give and who has no doubt brought joy to many, to now find yourself in this situation and I find it extremely tragic.

‘It is apparent that your former partner fears for her safety and the statements offered by her to this court are little short of chilling.

‘You should be under no illusion that the duty of this court is to protect women from this sort of behaviour.

‘You were advised when you were sentenced to a community payback order that it was a direct alternative to custody and yet you have failed to comply. I can have no confidence that you would abide by the terms of a further community order.’

The sentence was backdated to the 16th of February, when he was first sent put in a cell, meaning Stokes was able to be released from prison within a month.

Stokes said in an interview with Mail Sport that he wanted to put an end to his controversial past before getting onto a ferry from Dublin to Scotland, where he surrendered to the authorities after jumping bail.

He said that he wanted to draw a line under a controversial past. ‘All this stuff – the police charges, avoiding them, has been draining. But I want to move on from it, hand myself and draw a line.’

Jim O’Dowd, defending Stokes, said in court, per The Sun: ‘Since he has been remanded, there has been quite a sea change in his attitude towards the offences. He clearly now realises the difficulty and upset that has behaviour has caused his victims.

‘He has been in Addiewell since last month and it has been a particularly unpleasant experience for him because people know who he is and he has had quite a hard time.

‘He was kept behind his door for 23 hours per day and this has led to him now understanding how serious these matters are. He advises me he would comply with any community order but knows custody will be uppermost in the court’s mind.’

In 2019, Stokes confessed to relentlessly sending a number of offensive messages to his former partner, Scott, via WhatsApp and email. This came after their relationship had ended, while he was concluding his professional career in Iran.

He also turned up at her home in Shotts, Lanarkshire, late at night and demanded to know where she was.

Defence man Jim O’Dowd said: “Since he has been remanded there has been quite a sea change in his attitude towards the offences.

“He clearly now realises the difficulty and upset that has behaviour has caused his victims.

“He has been in Addiewell since last month and it has been a particularly unpleasant experience for him because people know who he is and he has had quite a hard time.

“He was kept behind his door for 23 hours per day and this has led to him now understanding how serious these matters are.

“He advises me he would comply with any community order but knows custody will be uppermost in the court’s mind.”

Sheriff Colin Dunipace ordered Stokes, of Dublin, to serve up to five months and slammed him for his conduct towards his former partner.

He was also banned from getting in contact with Scott for five years and her parents for a year.

Stokes also flew from Dublin to Scotland last month to hand himself into Motherwell police station.

He stated that he had neglected to return to Scotland for his sentencing due to being ‘distracted’ by legal proceedings in the Republic of Ireland.

Sheriff Dunipace said: “You should be under no illusion that the duty of this court is to protect women from this sort of behaviour.

“You were advised when you were sentenced to a community payback order that it was a direct alternative to custody and yet you have failed to comply.

“I can have no confidence that you would abide by the terms of a further community order.”

Stokes received a four-year non-harassment order against Scott and her parents, and subsequently enrolled in an anti-domestic abuse programme.

In 2021, an arrest warrant was initially issued for him when he failed to appear for sentencing on the charges.

Shortly after the warrant was issued, the audacious striker shared a selfie on social media with the caption: “Any bad news?”

In July 2022, he was apprehended in Northern Ireland and made a court appearance through a video link.

Although he was granted bail, he once again failed to appear, resulting in another warrant being issued, followed by a third in October of the previous year.

Twitter users reacted after his solicitor details Anthony Stokes’ nightmare prison stay and ‘fears for his safety’ as he’s sentenced…

@mjn1875: What a bellend he is

@FrannyJeffers72: Scumbag

@CP1872: Hail hail stokes in jail

@Jamie_1872: Imagine my shock and disbelief 🙄

@Gersfan1983uk: Hahaha nae luck

@darylm89: Its always the ones you least suspect

STOKES’ CAREER:

Youth career
2002–2003 Shelbourne
2003–2005 Arsenal

Senior career
2005–2007 – Arsenal
2006–2007 → Falkirk (loan) – 18 games (16 goals)
2007–2009 – Sunderland – 38 games (5 goals)
2008–2009 → Sheffield United (loan) – 12 games (0 goals)
2009 → Crystal Palace (loan) – 13 games (1 goal)
2009–2010 – Hibernian – 48 games (24 goals)
2010–2016 – Celtic – 191 games (76 goals)
2016 → Hibernian (loan) – 25 games (9 goals)
2016–2017 – Blackburn Rovers – 14 games (4 goals)
2017–2018 – Hibernian – 21 games (11 goals)
2018 – Apollon Smyrni – 4 games (0 goals)
2018–2019 – Tractor – 24 games (13 goals)
2019 – Adana Demirspor – 6 games (1 goal)
2020 – Persepolis
2020 – Livingston
Total – 418 games (160 goals)

International career
2006–2010 – Republic of Ireland U21 – 10 games (4 goals)
2008 – Republic of Ireland B – 1 games (0 goals)
2007–2014 – Republic of Ireland – 9 games (0 goals)

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