Teenager pleads guilty to ‘unprovoked assault’

A drunken teenager who committed an “unprovoked assault” on a 20-year-old, breaking his jaw, was sentenced to a 12-month Community Payback Order, with a condition he completes 120 hours of unpaid work.

Nineteen-year-old Jordan Caldwell of Deloraine Court, appeared on indictment and admitted punching the man to his severe injury at Tesco’s Galashiels store in Paton Street on February 17.

Selkirk Sheriff Court heard how Caldwell fractured the man’s jaw with a single blow.

The victim spent 36 hours in hospital, requiring surgery, and the removal of a tooth.

Caldwell, a first offender, was described as “extremely remorseful”, having not touched alcohol since the offence.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser told how a group of people, including the accused, had gone to Tesco’s 24-hour store around 3am, where they were “making a nuisance of themselves”.

The fiscal added that the 20-year-old victim was at the store for “legitimate reasons”.

After some “antagonising” a woman in the accused’s group, swung at the complainer.

“Thereafter, the accused swung for him, but missed him,” continued Mr Fraser, “but approached him again, and punched him on the jaw.

“It was immediately obvious that the man was badly hurt from this single blow,” added Mr Fraser

The victim was taken to Borders General Hospital, where it was found he had a fractured jaw.

He spent 26 hours in hospital and required surgery, wiring, and fixing of his jaw, and the removal of a tooth.

“This was a wholly unprovoked and unjustified assault with significant consequences,” concluded Mr Fraser.

Solicitor Alison Marshall, defending, said Caldwell had been out in Galashiels with friends, and had been drinking.

“He and his friends went to Tesco’s in the early hours of the morning, and there was an altercation between the complainer and the group the accused was with,” explained Miss Marshall.

“My client was not involved in the initial altercation,” continued Miss Marshall.

“He accepts full responsibility for the offence and doesn’t attempt to blame the complainer, or the fact that he had been drinking.

“He is extremely remorseful, and has not drunk any alcohol since.

“I am under no doubt he has learned his lesson,” concluded Miss Marshall.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond told Caldwell: “You are 19-years-old and have never been in any kind of trouble, so it is particularly sad to find the court dealing with a situation like this.”