Plumber sent to jail following ‘cowardly and vicious assault’

A PLUMBER who picked up a dazed assault victim and then threw over him over a river bank wall onto a concrete surface has been jailed for 12 months.

Graham Blacklock admitted assaulting Liam Lavery to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement along with others following the early morning disturbance on October 17.

The 23-year-old of Orchard Farm, claimed he had been assaulted by Lavery several hours earlier and been bullied by him over a period of time.

But Mark Keane, prosecuting, told the court how Blacklock and a number of others were travelling in a car in Teviot Road, Hawick, when they came across Lavery walking home on his own shortly after 1am.

He described how they chased their victim who ended up tripping and lying on the road while the group repeatedly punched and kicked him during an attack which lasted up to two minutes.

Mr Keane then described how Lavery was left lying on the road by the group who then got back out of the car, picked him up and sat him on a wall holding him by the ankles.

They then pushed him backwards and let go of his ankles falling seven feet onto a concrete surface beside the River Teviot.

Mr Keane said footballer Lavery - who scored East of Scotland league side Hawick Royal Albert’s only goal in a 5-1 defeat by Falkirk earlier this month – suffered broken teeth, various cuts and swelling and bruises to various parts of the body including the face and was treated at Borders General Hospital

Defence lawyer Rhona McLeod said her client had been attacked earlier in the evening and then came across him by coincidence later on.

She said: “Thereafter he lost control and behaved in a totally inappropriate manner. He has expressed sincere regret.

“It was completely out of character. It was not premeditated and there were no weapons involved. The social enquiry report is very favourable and he accepts responsibility for his actions.

“He is devastated at what he has done.”

Ms McLeod pointed out that Lavery was back at football training two days later and played in a match the following weekend, albeit getting sent off.

She had custody would have a devastating effect on her client.

But Sheriff Donald Corke said a prison sentence was inevitable and Blacklock had only himself to blame.

He said: “This was a cowardly and vicious assault. You pushed him while defenceless over a wall onto a concrete surface.

The sheriff imposed a 12 months jail sentence reducing it from 16 months due to the guilty plea.