Mum of Hearts fan brutally assaulted after Motherwell match hopes attacker is jailed after son's mental trauma
The mother of a Hearts fan brutally assaulted following a football match in Motherwell hopes her son’s attacker is jailed next month after leaving him with a shattered jaw, missing teeth and nearly two years of psychological trauma.
Darren Manson was attacked by a gang of youths in an underpass as he walked with his mother, Nicky, from the game to Motherwell train station in August 2019. Moments later he was punched by 46-year-old Scott Notman, who was not part of the group, leaving his mouth pouring with blood.
A surgeon later told Mr Manson that his jaw had been “shattered” and that he needed surgery to insert metal plates and pins, as well as stitches inside his mouth.
On Monday at Hamilton Sheriff Court, Notman pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Manson - aged 22 at the time - to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and impairment on August 16, 2019.
Speaking on Wednesday, Ms Manson said: “He suffered from anxiety and depression and he could not sleep. He was waking up with hot and cold sweats and having nightmares. When in the house he would keep looking behind him and he never went out for months. He still barely goes out now.
“We don’t know what will happen but I hope he (Notman) gets what he deserves. I hope he gets a custodial sentence.
“What he has done is not just punch someone, it’s affected him (Darren) over the past two years.”
Darren had to eat soft food for about six weeks following the attack and was off work for the same period of time. Initially, he could not be alone in his Falkirk home which meant his mother had to take time off work to support him.
Ms Manson, 47 and her son, now 24, were walking from Fir Park Stadium to the train station following their team’s 2-1 win against Motherwell when they were approached in an underpass by a gang of teenage ‘Well fans who started taunting them. She told them to “shut up, silly wee boys” but said one of them pushed her son before another punched him in the face.
The pair then walked out of the underpass but Ms Manson said she heard the noise of her son being punched before turning round to see him kneeling on the ground and pouring blood from his mouth. The attacker, Notman, was later arrested after being caught on CCTV.
They struggled to the train station and travelled to Glasgow but by this point, Darren was in agony and the pair took a taxi to A&E. He was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for specialist treatment.
Ms Manson said: “I remember a surgeon saying it was a shattered jaw. There were bone fragments on his mouth.
“He was hit on one side by the young ones and then on the same side by the older guy. He also lost three of his teeth. His face is still swollen a wee bit. Half of his bottom lip is still numb.”
Ms Manson said police dedicated a lot of time to finding one of the boys involved in the underpass scuffle and used CCTV from there and at the stadium to identify him.
She said two of the teens were referred to a Children’s Reporter but the matter was not taken any further.
A letter from the Reporter, seen by this newspaper, gave four reasons for not referring the matter to a children’s hearing. This included lack of evidence, that the young person was already under a compulsory supervision order at a children’s hearing, that the family had satisfactorily dealt with the issues and that it was enough for the children’s reporter to let the young person and parent know about the serious implications of the referral.
Ms Manson added: “If at that age they are not getting dealt with then things are going to get worse. It’s not helping the kids. I am really not pleased about them getting away with it because it was a serious attack.
“For me, I am disgusted with it because they do not know what they have done to my son’s life.”