Teenage thug warned next stop will be jail

Laidlaw was drinking in The Warehouse before the assault
Laidlaw was drinking in The Warehouse before the assault

A teenage thug who broke a man’s nose in an early morning attack near a Falkirk nightclub has been warned if he does it again he will be jailed.

Ryan Laidlaw lashed out at Stuart McArthur minutes after seeing him standing at a bus stop in Bainsford Main Street on January 2.

After confronting him in an “aggressive manner”, and as Mr McArthur tried to walk away, Laidlaw punched him to the ground and repeatedly kicked him on the head and body.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard last Thursday that Mr McArthur was later taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert and treated for injuries that included a broken nose.

The court was told Laidlaw, who has a previous conviction for assault, had left The Warehouse nightspot in Burnbank Road at around 3am and met Mr McArthur soon after.

Defence lawyer Willie McIntyre claimed: “He was waiting for a carry-out and became involved in a petty argument. He’d had far too much to drink and deeply ashamed and sorry.

“He is hoping for a non-custodial sentence and will comply with any community payback order and unpaid work requirement. He recognises this is his final chance.”

Mr McIntyre said Laidlaw’s parents had found his actions “hard to believe” and they were shocked and disappointed.

He added: “He is not trying to hide from the fact he carried out this attack, but has seen the error of his ways and tells me you will not see him back in court again.”

Sheriff John Mundy was told Laidlaw, from Kincardine, earns around £100 a week from a part-time job.

He placed him on a supervised community payback order for 18 months with the added conditions he complete 150 hours unpaid work in six months, pays Mr McArthur £400 compensation within 16 months and complies with a 7pm to 5am curfew for the next four months.

But he warned him: “You are on a knife-edge at the moment. An unjustified assault on a total stranger at night is something the court can send people to prison for. You are 19 and going to get into big trouble if this is repeated in any way. The public has to be protected.”