Footballer faces trial in January

A former professional footballer, who lives in Lauder, is due to stand trial at Selkirk Sheriff Court accused of threatening to kill his wife.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 10:09 am
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 10:09 am
Lee Makel

Lee Makel, who played for both Hearts and Livingston, is charged with engaging in a course of behaviour which was abusive towards her over the course of a year.

The offence is alleged to have taken place at an address in Thirlestane Drive, Lauder, as well as in Edinburgh and Portobello, between May 30, 2019 and May 15 last year.

The charge alleges he was abusive towards Claire Makel by repeatedly shouting and swearing at her; sending her abusive messages, including a threat to kill her; throwing household items belonging to her about; following her to a place in Edinburgh; and directing abusive messages towards another man, named as Gareth Blair, formerly a chief superintendent of Police Scotland.

The 48-year-old – who gave an address in Lauder to the court – maintained his not guilty plea when the case called last week and a trial date was set for January 18, with a preliminary hearing on December 13.

Last week, the court heard that Makel is excused attendance from the preliminary hearing due to working in England … he is currently an academy coach at English championship side Sheffield United.

In his extensive playing career, Makel also appeared for Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Bradford City, Plymouth Argyle, Dunfermline, East Fife, Cowdenbeath and was player-manager at Swedish side Östersund.