Community service for headbutt teenager

When another man falsely accused him of being gay, Gary Craig assaulted him, to his permanent disfigurement.

The attack happened on New Year’s Day after a night out celebrating Hogmanay.

Eighteen-year-old Craig, a first offender, of Weensland Road, Hawick, admitted headbutting the other man, causing him to fall to the ground, and kicking him on the head to his injury and permanent disfigurement at Weensland Road on January 1.

At a previous hearing, depute fiscal Mark Keane said the victim and a friend left a local nightclub after celebrating Hogmanay and met the accused at about 3am, when they all decided to walk home together, heading along Weensland Road.

Mr Keane said Craig took offence at something the other man said and “squared up to him.

“He headbutted him causing him to fall to the ground, and as he curled up to protect himself, the accused kicked him on the face,” said Mr Keane.

The other friend intervened and a passing taxi driver stopped to take the victim home, when he contacted police and organized a lift to hospital.

He required two stitches to his left eyebrow and will be left with a permanent scar.

Defence solicitor Rory Bannerman said Craig, a student mechanic, had been walking home with a friend and the complainer.

“During the journey, the complainer, it is said, called my client gay,” said Mr Bannerman.

“He is not, and he should just have let it go, but he got annoyed when it was again repeated.”

Mr Bannerman said the conviction would have an impact on Craig for the rest of his life.

“This was a one-off, where he rose to the bait,” concluded Mr Bannerman.

Sheriff Donald Corke sentenced Craig to 120 hours community service.

“Notwithstanding any annoyance you felt, what you have pled guilty to is quite serious,” he told Craig.

“It is worrying that you kick a person on the head while he is on the ground,” he added.