Jul 27 2011 by Stephen Robertson, Stirling Observer Wednesday
TWO CLACKMANNANSHIRE men have been convicted of a brutal assault on a teenager in Stirling.
John Gibson and Simon Blair – both aged 21 – punched and kicked Dylan Hunter (17) to the head and body during the violent incident in the city’s Viewfield Place in the early hours of April 3 this year.
Both accused had offered guilty pleas to an amended assault charge at Stirling Sheriff Court on Monday but these were not accepted by the Crown. The two men were, however, subsequently convicted of the assault as libelled at trial this week.
The court heard how Mr Hunter (17) was effectively hauled from his car and beaten by the men.
He had been out in his Ford Fiesta and had encountered the two men earlier, and there had been a verbal exchange, but Mr Hunter had then driven away.
The court also heard that Blair had apparently previously gone out with Mr Hunter’s girlfriend and had sent her a text message, and that Mr Hunter had replied to him asking what the problem was.
As it was, Mr Hunter had later stopped to chat to friends in Viewfield Place when he was set upon by the two men.
Mr Hunter told the court that he had been sitting in his car with the window down and that Gibson had approached, reached in and grabbed his car keys from the ignition.
Mr Hunter added: “I asked him what he was doing and he punched me on the side of the head.”
The court heard that Gibson then moved to the passenger side of the car and smashed a window of the Ford Fiesta by punching it.
The assault continued as Mr Hunter was pulled from the vehicle and was punched and kicked to the head and body by both Gibson and Blair.
Mr Hunter added: “I eventually got to my feet and just ran.”
The assault victim also told the court that he had gone to hospital later that day as he was beginning to feel dizzy and sick, and had bruising.
Under cross-examination, solicitor for Blair, Harry Coughlin, said that there had been no visible injuries when Mr Hunter had attended hospital later that day.
Mr Coughlin added: “I suggest that the injuries that you had looked at in the hospital aren’t consistent with what you say happened. You described an attack where you were kicked on the head.”
Mr Hunter replied: “I was kicked on the head.”
Gibson’s lawyer suggested that Mr Hunter had been “exaggerating” Gibson’s part in the incident.
Mr Hunter said: “It had nothing to do with John Gibson but he got himself involved.”
Two other witnesses, who were present at the time of the incident, also each told the court that they had seen the two men punching and kicking Mr Hunter.
After hearing the evidence Sheriff William Gilchrist said that he was satisfied that both accused were guilty of what happened to Mr Hunter and convicted both men of the assault as libelled.
Gibson was also convicted on the charge of smashing the car window.
Sentence was deferred for reports and Gibson, of Main Street, Sauchie, and Blair, of High Street, Tillicoultry, will appear again on August 24.