Army career in jeopardy after violent assault

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A teenager with hopes of a promising future on the football field and the armed forces almost threw it all away when he attacked and injured a rival.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, punched and kicked his victim – who was 16 at the time – leaving him injured in the street. The assault came to an end when the accused’s father intervened and took his son away from the victim.

The teenager, who previously pled guilty to the assault to severe injury and impairment he committed in Bainsford on November 3 last year, appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday.

Simon Hutchison, defence solicitor, said: “There were ongoing issues between these two young gentlemen, both around the same age. He had come out of his home to go to the gym and met this other young gentleman, who was with many of his school chums, and there was an altercation.

“When his dad arrived he stopped the matter going any further and took his son away.”

Mr Hutchison added the teenager reportedly had a “bright future” on the football field and he had also applied to join the army. He said the incident, which left the young victim severely injured, was nothing more than a scrap between school pupils.

He said: “It’s one of these schoolboy matters that might not have come to anything. It wasn’t actually reported to the police by the victim.”

Sheriff Craig Caldwell did not see it like that and said the 17-year-old was lucky he was not going to jail.

He said: “You assaulted a young man to his severe injury and impairment by punching him on the head and body and thereafter by kicking him. These are offences which almost inevitably result in a prison sentence.

“However, you have no previous offending history, although you have been before the Children’s Panel for something similar.”

The teenager was placed on a supervised community payback order for 18 months with the condition he complete 160 hours of unpaid work in the community within four months. Sheriff Caldwell said: “This sentence is a direct alternative to custody. If you breach the order you will go to jail.”