Punch over £40 debt earned thug a £360 fine

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A man resorted to violence in an effort to get £40 owed to him so he could afford to celebrate Christmas.

When he was told – two days before Christmas – there was still no chance of getting his money, Alexander Reid (43) punched the man he had loaned the cash to – and who had just insulted him about his burn scars – in the face.

Reid appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday having pled guilty to assaulting Christopher Gardiner in Williamson Street, Falkirk on December 23 last year.

Procurator fiscal depute Samantha Brown said: “It was 10.10am and the complainer was walking with his father when he was shouted on by the accused. There was a brief conversation between the accused and the complainer about him apparently owing the accused some money.

“The complainer asked the accused to address the matter at a later date because he was with his father on this occasion. The accused punched the complainer in the face, leaving him with a cut lip and chipped tooth.

“The whole incident was captured on CCTV.”

Martin Morrow, defence solicitor said: “This happened just two days before Christmas. Mr Reid had loaned this gentleman £40 and that was rather a lot of money for Mr Reid, with his Christmas now coming to a head.

“Over a six week period before this there had been a range of explanations given to him as to why it was going to be impossible for him to get the money – he told Mr Reid he would give it to him some time before Christmas.

“This was a chance meeting in the street and when it is suggested to Mr Reid this will be dealt with later because the gentleman was with his dad, that didn’t go down well with Mr Reid and there was a exchange of views.”

Mr Morrow said Mr Gardiner making a nasty and hurtful remark about burn injuries on Reid’s face was the actual “catalyst” which led to the punch.

Sheriff John Mundy fined Reid, 35 Ettrick Court, Hallglen, £360 to be paid back at a rate of £50 per month.