Employee was attacked after row over wages

The attack happended in a car park outside the Star Inn
The attack happended in a car park outside the Star Inn

A boss who carried out a “wholly unprovoked” attack on a worker after a dispute over unpaid wages has been jailed for five months.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that Dean Prentice was standing outside a pub when Paul O’Regan drove up, got out of his car and thumped him twice with a wooden bat.

The victim suffered a head injury and was detained in hospital overnight.

O’Regan, 30 Millar Place, High Bonnybridge, appeared in the dock on his 39th birthday. He was given the unwanted present of a prison term after Sheriff Mark Thorley rejected a plea for leniency.

O’Regan admitted assaulting Mr Prentice by striking him on the head and body with the bat to his injury outside the Star Inn in Grahams Road, Falkirk, in December 2015.

Laura Knox, prosecuting, said Mr Prentice and a friend were smoking outside the pub when O’Regan’s car pulled up shortly before 9pm.

She told the court: “The accused got out of the vehicle and Mr Prentice noticed he was holding what appeared to be a wooden bat. Mr Prentice felt an impact to his knee and fell to the ground, then felt an impact to his head.

“The victim’s friend tried to restrain O’Regan who was taken back to his vehicle. He then drove away.”

Ms Knox said the injured man was unable to put weight on his left knee. He had a small cut to his forehead and was detained overnight at Forth Valley Royal Hospital for observation. He also had swelling to his knee.

Defence agent Andy Bryson said Mr Prentice had been employed by O’Regan and had been “haranguing” him for payment of wages.

Mr Bryson claimed a meeting had been arranged in a public place to avoid any trouble, but he added: “Unfortunately my client picked up a piece of wood that was lying in the car park and had a complete loss of control. He wishes he had acted with a bit more dignity.”

Mr Bryson suggested a compensation order and community work could be imposed as alternatives to jail.

However, Sheriff Thorley said the assault was “wholly unprovoked” and, given O’Regan’s previous convictions for similar charges, only a jail sentence was appropriate.