Footballer Kevin Kyle was given 120 hours community service yesterday for brawling in a street after celebrating a win for his national team.
The 25-year-old Scotland and Coventry City striker threw up to four punches at an unidentified victim then swore at police officers.
He had been out celebrating with friends in his home
town of Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, after Scot-land's Euro 2008 qualifying win over France last October.
Kyle, who gained the last of his nine international caps in April 2004, was convicted of two breaches of the peace after a trial at Stranraer Sheriff Court last month.
Yesterday, Sheriff James Smith ordered him to carry
out the community service after dismissing a claim from his lawyer that a fine would be more appropriate.
The footballer's defence counsel, Paul Feeney, said the inquiry report was very encouraging and showed a very low risk of reoffending, adding Kyle had means to pay a fine immediately.
But the sheriff said a financial penalty would
have little impact on Kyle who earns £410,000 a year.
It is his third conviction in the past three years.
The father-of-two was fined £500 in 2004 after fighting in Stranraer, and banned from the road for six months in February this year after being convicted of careless driving.
Kyle had denied the latest charges, claiming instead the
matter had been cooked up as a revenge mission by a disgruntled police officer who had broken up with the foot-baller's cousin. But Sheriff Smith dismissed that as preposterous.
Outside court, the former Sunderland striker, who lives in Nuneaton, Warwick-shire, denied he was a "bad boy footballer", saying he was also planning to appeal.
"They are making an example of me, it's only because of who I am. It's hard to take because I've been convicted of fighting with somebody who has never come forward and who has never complained."
He said he was hoping to play for Coventry this weekend and also hoping to make a comeback for the Scottish national team.