Hearts Sack Sex Offender Craig Thomson

Hearts have confirmed they are sacking defender Craig Thomson who's pled guilty to indecent behaviour towards underage girls on the internet.

The 20-year-old was suspended last month following a conviction for ``lewd, libidinous and indecent behaviour''.

The Edinburgh club initially said it was standing by the 20-year-old but then changed its position

In a short statement on their official website today, Hearts announced Thomson's time at the Edinburgh club would come to an end in the near future.

It added: "Craig Thomson will leave Heart of Midlothian Football Club imminently. The club has considered all implications surrounding the issue and has decided to find a solution for the player to leave the club over the forthcoming days.''

Thomson pleaded guilty in June in relation to inappropriate conduct towards two under-age girls over the internet.

He was fined and placed on the sex offenders' register.

Last month, police confirmed they are making inquiries into fresh allegations against Thomson.

Lothian and Borders Police said they are now looking into information passed to them by a third party.

A police spokesman said: "We are making inquiries into the possibility that another person has grounds for complaint.''

A children's charity which campaigned for the footballer to be dropped tonight welcomed the decision by Hearts.

Anne Houston, chief executive of Children 1st, said: "We are relieved that the club now accepts the role it must play in minimising the risk of sexual harm to children.

As we have said before, our Safeguarding in Sport initiative would welcome the opportunity to discuss with Hearts, and other clubs, how we might help them with training and procedures on child protection issues.

The reason we got involved in this issue was because of our long-standing commitment to protecting children and ensuring they are safe and secure.

This decision by Hearts sends a clear message to children and young people that they are valued and that their experiences will be taken seriously.''