Lochaber man fac­ing jail for as­sault on 17-year-old

The Oban Times - - NEWS - ed­i­tor@oban­times.co.uk

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.

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