Teens sentenced over ‘distasteful and nasty’ attack
COURT: Group of youths spat on, kicked and tried to set fire to vulnerable woman’s hair
A pair of youths who were part of a “baying” group who battered a woman with learning difficulties have been banned from Dunfermline town centre if they are in a group of more than three.
A 17-year-old from Dunfermline who took part in the savage attack was sentenced to 160 days detention at a young offenders institution, while a 16-year-old accomplice from Rosyth was put on a community payback order with 300 hours of unpaid work after holding a lighter flame to their victim’s hair .
Both have been made subject to a fiveyear antisocial behaviour order, which bans them from being part of a group of more than three people in the centre.
A 17-year-old female was also involved in the assault but did not attend for sentencing, claiming to be sick.
None of the attackers can be named because the law bans the identification of offenders under the age of 18.
At Dunfermline Sheriff Court all three admitted that on September 9 last year at Dunfermline Bus Station, while acting with others, they assaulted the woman by repeatedly spitting on her head and body, repeatedly kicking her on the body, causing her to fall to the ground.
The 16-year-old admitted a second charge of repeatedly putting a lighter to the woman’s head and putting a flame at her head.
The victim, who is in her forties, was repeatedly surrounded by a group of more than 20 teenagers.
Her ordeal lasted around 25 minutes and was captured on CCTV.
After watching the disturbing scenes in court, a sheriff said it was “remarkable” the police did not arrive earlier, with the incident being followed throughout by CCTV operators.
Depute fiscal Azrah Yousaf previously said in court: “It’s a particularly nasty and distasteful offence.
“The victim was extremely upset when police arrived. The woman is vulnerable and has mental health issues. Her hair was covered by spit.
“The three accused were part of a larger group. They were baying around her and seemed to be focusing their actions on the woman because of her vulnerability.”
Sheriff Charles MacNair described the behaviour as “truly horrifying”.
He added: “It was committed in a public place, namely the bus station. It’s becoming notorious that groups of youths are gathering at the bus station and at Tesco, to the alarm of members of the public in Dunfermline.”
The third offender will be sentenced on July 6.
Superintendent Derek McEwan, of Fife Police Division, said: “As soon as local officers were made aware of the incident, they responded immediately.”