View Full Version : Two jailed for New Year's Day attacks

11-May-12, 15:17
Sheriff condemns assaults as "disgraceful"

A SHERIFF condemned attacks by two Thurso men on New Year first-footers as disgraceful and jailed them both commenting that to described their conduct as “disgraceful” was understating it.
Dean Meiklejohn (22) of Royal Terrace, was jailed for 13 months. He admitted assaulting Angus Sutherland by forcing him to the ground and kicking him repeatedly and punching Sam O’ Kane, repeatedly.
Shane McGinley (20) of Smith Terrace, pleaded guilty to head-butting Garry Lynch and received a custodial sentence of four months. Both accused admitted a further charge of threatening behaviour, and previous convictions.
The incidents occurred in Thurso’s John Kennedy Drive when two groups met about 6am on January 1.
The court was told that someone in the accused’s group had shouted to the other group-“Do you want to start something?”.
Senior fiscal depute, David Barclay, said the other group made it clear they didn’t want any trouble and were just out celebrating the New Year.
The two accused were then observed emerging from their group and the trouble flared.
Mr Barclay said: “Meiklejohn was shouting and swearing and making it clear he was up for a fight. McGinley turned his attention to person and made a threat along the lines that he would “slit his throat”. Various witnesses are adamant that the incidents had been completely unprovoked.”
Solicitor Neil Wilson, who represented both accused, said that Meiklejohn accepted that when he drank, he drank to excess and gets into trouble. McGinley was “very drunk” at the time but has not consumed alcohol since.
Sheriff Andrew Berry, who saw background reports on the accused, observed that they had maintained to social workers that they had been the victims but after Mr Wilson consulted the pair, during a recess, he accepted this was not the case.
The sheriff told the accused: “To say your behaviour was disgraceful hardly describes it correctly. Perfectly decent people going about their private lives were assaulted by you. I put to one side that you made out to a social worker that you committed the acts of violence to protect yourselves, which clearly is nonsense. It is clear that when you are under the influence of drink you are both capable of acts of violence. Hopefully, you will learn that this will not be tolerated.”
McGinley’s record was said to be less than that of Meiklejohn .