Teens sen­tenced over ‘dis­taste­ful and nasty’ at­tack

COURT: Group of youths spat on, kicked and tried to set fire to vul­ner­a­ble woman’s hair

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - Craig smiTh

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.”

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