Langlees bully with ‘health issues’ now fined for two assaults

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James McDougal was fit enough to assault his ex-partner and kick out at police when they tried to arrest him.

But Falkirk Sheriff Court was told last Thursday that since carrying out the attacks in November, 2014, the bully’s health has deteriorated so much he is unable to carry out the unpaid work imposed as a key part of his sentence.

McDougal was back in court to have his progress with the community payback order he was placed on last March reviewed.

Sheriff Linda Smith was told that since his last appearance he has only managed to turn up for five work sessions that had been organised by social workers.

His lawyer said the 36-year-old, who needed to use a crutch to help him walk to the dock, has faced “extreme” health difficulties for the last ten months.

Murray Aitken told the court that McDougal, from 57 Seaforth Road, Langlees, was back in hospital no later than December and now taking 14 different types of medication.

Mr Aitken said: “He has had health issues more or less from the start. His health difficulties are extreme and included having an operation to remove discs from his back. His partner also has health issues that have had an impact on him.”

In court last year McDougal admitted assaulting his ex-partner in Falkirk’s Central Retail Park on November 22, 2014, by grabbing and pushing her.

The attack was reported to police who traced him to his home later that day, but when officers attempted to arrest him, McDougal kicked out at them as they tried to get him into their vehicle and take him to the police station.

Procurator fiscal depute Graham McLachlan said the background to what happened that day was straightforward.

He said: “It started off as a small argument and then escalated.”

Sheriff Smith said that given the offences involved assaults on a woman and police doing their job, she was “reluctant” to deal with McDougal by way of admonition.

She told him: “When someone accepts a community payback order they are telling the court they are going to comply fully with that order and do the work.

“However, because of your ill health you cannot do that.”

After being told he pockets £220 a fortnight in benefits, the sheriff opted to scrap the order and replace it with a total of £225 in fines instead.

McDougal will be expected to pay the fines at £10 a week.