Campbeltown Courier

‘A tap, not a punch,’ man tells court


A 20-year-old man who appeared before Sheriff Patrick Hughes in Campbeltow­n last week said he gave a woman ‘a tap, not a punch’.

The sheriff disagreed and found him guilty.

Blair McCallum, of 71 Meadows Avenue, Campbeltow­n, denied assaulting the woman by repeatedly punching her on her body, causing her to fall against a parked car, to her injury.

The incident happened on March 15 last year on Longrow, Campbeltow­n. The court was shown photograph­s taken by the police of the bruising to the 21-year-old woman’s face and her arm which was hurt when she struck the car.

The woman was one of a group who had been drinking in a town centre pub and had all been invited back to a house party. ‘He [McCallum] was not invited, he just wanted to tag along,’ she told the court.

Procurator fiscal depute James Dunbar told the court that McCallum ‘made advances towards her but she was not interested’.

The woman told the court: ‘He started to be aggressive and he punched me in the face three times and then he pushed me.’

During cross examinatio­n she said she had been drinking but was ‘tipsy, not drunk’.

McCallum’s defence agent, Stephen MacSporran, said: ‘Was it not the case you were play fighting, pushing into each other?’

Mr MacSporran said that her evidence contained ‘exaggerati­on and embellishm­ent’.

Another woman in the group, also aged 21, said they were ‘all a bit merry’ and while she had not seen the incident happen, she heard the injured woman ‘kind of scream’ and she turned round.

‘I told him to go home; he just kept pestering us,’ she added. The police officer who photograph­ed the woman’s injuries said the victim was upset.

When arrested and charged, McCallum said to the officer: ‘I never punched her, for a start; I just tapped her face. We were just having a carry on.’

Giving evidence in court, McCallum said about the two women: ‘They were very drunk; they were worse than me, a bit staggery.’

He described the incident as normal drunken banter. He added that if he had punched her three times, as she said, the mark on her face would have been far larger. McCallum said the woman drunkenly fell against the car injuring herself.

Sheriff Hughes called for a Criminal Justice Work Report and a Restrictio­n of Liberty Order Assessment to be prepared on him, with sentencing on September 16.

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