Bar­man fined £3,500 and tagged af­ter brawl

Campbeltown Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

An Ar­dr­ishaig bar­man was fined £3,500 but spared jail by a Camp­bel­town sher­iff last Thurs­day. At an Au­gust court ap­pear­ance, Blair Mac­Don­ald John­ston, 41, of 9 Brae Road, pleaded guilty, un­der provo­ca­tion, to a charge of as­sault, se­vere in­jury and per­ma­nently dis­fig­ur­ing one of two men. The grad­u­ate, with a de­gree in sports in­juries and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, who works in Aviemore, pleaded guilty to a fur­ther charge, also un­der provo­ca­tion, of as­sault­ing a sec­ond man, knock­ing him to the ground and re­peat­edly punch­ing him. The charges re­lated to an in­ci­dent in an Is­lay ho­tel when John­ston was at­tacked by two cus­tomers, be­fore he ren­dered one of them un­con­scious and stamped on his head. At that hear­ing, the sher­iff was shown a CCTV film of the in­ci­dent in the early hours of Novem­ber 8 last year at Num­ber One Pub, formerly the White Hart, 1 Char­lotte Street, Port Ellen. The film also showed a sub­se­quent fight which led to a customer be­ing he­li­coptered to hospi­tal in Glas­gow with mul­ti­ple frac­tures and a bleed on the brain. The silent CCTV film opened with all three men talk­ing at the bar in the early hours. John­ston re­turned be­hind the bar to be fol­lowed by one man, who knocked him to the floor. The other man also went be­hind the bar and at­tacked John­ston. Later a scuf­fle erupts, as the two men leave the bar and they re­turn fight­ing. John­ston lays one man flat and stamps on his fore­head be­fore fight­ing the other man. Even­tu­ally the pair stum­ble out­side where one col­lapsed and the other di­alled 999. The most se­ri­ously in­jured man was seen by a con­sul­tant, at 8.50am, in Glas­gow’s Queen El­iz­a­beth Univer­sity Hospi­tal where it was es­tab­lished that there was no dan­ger to his life, but he had frac­tures to his cheek­bone and eye-socket. In mit­i­ga­tion, John­ston’s de­fence so­lic­i­tor said: ‘The na­ture of the provo­ca­tion was cow­ardly. My client is a sen­si­tive man. The (pre-sen­tenc­ing) re­port was pos­i­tive, he is in full-time em­ploy­ment and in­volved with a moun­tain lead­ers’ group giv­ing some­thing back to so­ci­ety. ‘He has had con­sid­er­able prob­lems com­ing to terms with what he did and his men­tal health is an is­sue.’ Sher­iff Pa­trick Hughes re­stricted John­ston’s lib­erty for eight months, with an elec­tronic tag con­fin­ing the bar­man to his home, from 1am to 8am and warned him that any in­fringe­ment would lead to prison. He also im­posed 200 hours of un­paid work and or­dered the fine be re­paid at £200 a month. Sum­ming up, Sher­iff Hughes said: ‘At the end of your shift you were faced with two men who had taken too much drink and you showed con­sid­er­able pa­tience.’ Sher­iff Hughes added that, notwith­stand­ing the provo­ca­tion, the act of stamp­ing on some­one’s head could have led to more se­ri­ous in­juries and the case be­ing heard at a higher court.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.