A sheriff today (Tuesday) blasted an association between strong tonic wines and violence as he sentenced a thug who smashed a bottle of it over the head of a boy at a birthday party.
Callum Anderson attacked the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, after a melee broke out at the event in Brechin, Angus.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard Anderson had consumed two-and-a-half bottles of a caffeinated tonic wine before the attack.
Sheriff Alastair Brown said: “There is in my professional experience a very definite association.
“Those of us who have practised in any capacity anywhere in the west of Scotland have been particularly aware of that, but I’ve seen it in this court as well - and also in Dundee High Court.
“The fact is that some people drink far too much of it and get violent.”
The court heard that during the incident the birthday boy’s mother ushered the fighting parties - including Anderson and his co-accused Jack Mackie - out into the street.
There Anderson confronted the victim, asking him what his name was and where he lived.
Anderson then grabbed the boy and dragged him up the street before punching him on the head.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court: “This caused him to hunch over and caused his polo shirt to rip.
“As he was bent over, he was repeatedly punched on the head and chest by both accused, before he was struck once over the head with the glass bottle that accused Anderson was carrying.
“This caused the boy to begin to bleed profusely, and at that stage both accused ran away from the locus.
“This was witnessed by a number of young people at the party aged 13-16.
“The boy was found to have a deep laceration on his forehead which was closed with three stitches.
“He was also found to have shards of glass in his hair.
“He had swelling and reddening to both eyes.
“He has a faint scar on his hairline which is covered by his hair, but told the police that he is more bothered about the ongoing court case than he is by the faint scar.”
Anderson, 18, of Dundas Park, Brechin, and Mackie, 20, of Wards Road, Brechin, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of assault.
The offence took place on October 30 last year in Harley Place, Brechin.
Iain Flynn, defending Anderson, said the trainee stonemason had “taken far too much alcohol”.
He added: “He is disgusted at himself.”
Sheriff Alastair Brown imposed a community payback order on Anderson with one year’s supervision, 225 hours of unpaid work and £250 compensation to his victim.
Anderson was also placed on an electronic tag confining them to his home from 7pm to 7am every day for four-and-a-half months.
Mackie was given a community payback order with 200 hours unpaid work.
Sheriff Brown added: “The normal penalty for assaulting someone by striking them on the head with a bottle, even for a first offender, is around 18 months custody.
“With considerable hesitation I’m stepping away from that.”