Falkirk barman keeps licence with a warning after failing to report assault conviction

A man convicted of assaulting a woman as he challenged her partner about an affair with his wife has been allowed to keep his personal licence to sell alcohol, with a warning it must not happen again.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Friday, 11th March 2022, 2:32 pm
Updated Monday, 14th March 2022, 1:23 pm

Bar worker Andrew Simpson was called in front of Falkirk Council’s licensing board after Police Scotland informed them that he had pleaded guilty to the assault to injury at Falkirk Sheriff Court.

However, he had not reported the conviction to the board which he is required to do so.

Sergeant Liam Livingstone said the incident happened in Falkirk when Mr Simpson went to challenge a man who had been messaging his wife on social media.

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Stock image of bar worker

He told the board the incident became heated and a fight took place which woke up the householder’s partner who came downstairs and tried to intervene,

Sgt Livingstone said: “As a result of this Mr Simpson punched the female partner several times on the face as she ushered him out the front door.

“Once outside, Mr Simpson grabbed the female by the hair and struck her on the face with his hand.”

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The woman suffered a cut to her right eye, a swollen nose and cheekbone and ought medical advice at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, but no treatment was required.

Mr Simpson appeared in court last March, and was fined £600 plus a £40 victim surcharge.

The board’s convener, Niall Coleman, asked why the Chief Constable made no recommendation about the case.

Sgt Livingstone said: “You could look at it and say it’s a crime of violence, quite serious and it calls into question Mr Simpson’s character.

“Another person could look at it and say that its a very specific offence, directed at a specific person as a result of a specific incident.

“There’s nothing that I can find that would suggest that Mr Simpson is a violent character per se but clearly this conviction causes some concern.”

Representing Mr Simpson, solicitor Niall Hassard said that the incident had given his client “no end of shame and embarrassment”.

“Mr Simpson regrets wholeheartedly that after a sleepless night – no alcohol was involved – and very deep soul searching, when perhaps he wasn’t in the best mindset, he decided to confront the man.

Mr Hassard told the board that Mr Simpson has been working consistently in the licensed trade in Falkirk for 24 years and the incident was very out of character.

“During that period, he’s never had a blemish against his character – he’s never had an issue with the public nor has he had any issues with work.”

In his submission, he said that Mr Simpson’s punishment had been provided by the court and he urged them to allow him to keep his personal licence which was needed for his job.

After deliberations, Convener Niall Coleman said that there was a suggestion that this was an isolated incident and “that could well be true” but it was important to make sure that this was not the beginning of a pattern of behaviour.

While he did not feel it merited a revocation or suspension, he suggested an endorsement would allow future members of the board to be aware of the incident if it was appropriate in the future.

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