Lochaber man facing jail for assault on 17-year-old
A 57-YEAR-OLD Lochaber man is facing jail after being found guilty of assaulting a 17-year-old ‘almost defenceless’ girl.
At Fort William Sheriff Court last week, George Pendreigh from Morar denied seizing the college student by the hair and repeatedly punching her on the head on May 13, 2016 near her flat in Mallaig.
Instead, the part-time deckhand told the court the young woman had verbally assaulted him before punching him ‘square in the face’. Pendreigh claimed self defence when he appeared in court on Wednesday November 9 and said he had tried to restrain the victim by the wrists.
Pendreigh’s son Jorge claimed he had witnessed the incident and said he sent his injured father away before the police arrived because he was frustrated by the situation and had work in the morning.
Sheriff William Taylor said he could not accept the evidence of the accused and that he believed Jorge had perjured himself with his evidence from beginning to end, delivering ‘lie after lie after lie’, adding: ‘I have the clear suspicion you have been put up to it.’
The victim’s evidence was described by the sheriff as being compelling in its honesty and accuracy.
She had told fiscal Martine Eastwood that on the night of the incident she sat with a friend in a local pub after finishing work and had a couple of juices. After walking a short distance home, the two were outside having a cigarette when another person arrived.
They informed the girls that Pendreigh had asked where the victim’s friend was staying which had upset her due to a ‘previous incident’.
Pendreigh then arrived. Concerned for her friend’s safety, the victim said she told her to go inside and Pendreigh to go away as they didn’t want any trouble.
According to the victim, things then got heated. She asked the person who had told them Pendreigh was looking for the victim’s friend to go inside and put her phone on charge as she hoped she could phone Pendreigh’s son to rouse him.
When the man went inside, the victim told the court that Pen- dreigh had said, ‘you don’t have a witness now’, and that is when the assault took place.
Sheriff Taylor described the incident as a ‘very serious assault on an almost defenceless young woman’ and said a custodial sentence was an open option.
Solicitor Hamish Melrose told the Sheriff that Pendriegh is working part-time and earning £250 a week while his B&B, which was reduced to rubble in a fire in 2015, is being restored.
A background report was requested by the Sheriff and sentence was deferred until Tuesday December 6.