Falkirk man's 'stupid' and 'cowardly' part in assault which left victim with broken jaw

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Two men took part in an assault outside a nightclub which saw them kick a man who was lying on the ground to leave him with a broken jaw which required surgery.

Ryan Laidlaw (23) and Rhys White (20) appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Thursday, having both admitted assault offences they committed in Maxwell Place, Stirling on Devember 23, 2019.

Laidlaw, 1 Westfield, Kincardine, who was struck himself by the complainer so there was some level of provocation, pleaded guilty to unleashing three kicks to the victims head and body while he was on the ground to cause injury and permanent impairment.

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White, 13 Mamre Drive, California, pleaded guilty to kicking the complainer twice to the body while he was on the ground, causing no injury.

Laidlaw and White assaulted the man outside a nightclub in Maxwell Place, StirlingLaidlaw and White assaulted the man outside a nightclub in Maxwell Place, Stirling
Laidlaw and White assaulted the man outside a nightclub in Maxwell Place, Stirling

Procurator fiscal depute Robbie McDougall said the incident, which was captured on CCTV footage, happened after two groups of males encountered each other outside a nightclub in Stirling.

He added the victim required surgery for a broken jaw, which had to have three metal plates inserted.

Defence solicitor Michael Lowrie, representing Laidlaw, said: “He was out with friends and attended at a nightclub. He leaves the nightclub and engages in an altercation with a larger group of males.

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"He’s not sure how it starts – his memory is not what it should be given his state of inebriation. He is punched three times by the complainer, who then falls to the ground.

"He takes advantage of the situation – he ought not to have done – in the heat of the moment and then assaults the complainer.”

Mr Lowrie said Laidlaw, a mechanical engineering apprentice, suffered a concussion as a result of the incident.

“Since this matter he has made attempts to moderate his drinking,” added Mr Lowrie.

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Simon Hutchison, representing White, said his client was a first offender who “delivered two kicks to the man’s back to no injury”

He added: “He was at the nightclub in Stirling – he is from Falkirk and doesn’t go through to Stirling, but it was Christmas time and he was persuaded by his friends to go through to Stirling on this night.

"There was a significant fracas involving 15 to 20 men outside the night club and he saw his friend being assaulted. He then saw the complainer fall to the ground and stupidly got involved by kicking him twice and then moving away.

"It was a stupid and perhaps slightly cowardly thing to do.”

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Dealing first with Laidlaw, Sheriff Pino Di Emidio said: “You pleaded guilty to what is a very serious charge. There are factors which allow me to approach this matter in a manner which does not require me to imprison you.”

He placed Laidlaw on a community payback order with the condition he complete 300 hours unpaid work within 12 months. He was also made subject to a restriction of liberty order, meaning he must stay in his home between 7pm and 4am for the next six months.

Turning to White, Sheriff Di Emidio said his “limited involvement” in the matter was “rightly characterised as very stupid and cowardly” and fined him £400 to be paid back at a rate of £100 per month.

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