May 11 2012 by Stephen Robertson, Stirling Observer Friday
A BUCHLYVIE man who carried out a brutal assault while on a bus was jailed for nine months this week.
John Masters (28) repeatedly punched another passenger on the head during the sustained attack, Stirling Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday.
The incident took place as the Stirling to Balfron bus came to a halt in Buchlyvie on April 19.
Fiscal depute Catriona Steele told the court that the assault victim was already on board the bus when Masters got on.
She added: “The accused knew the victim.
“During the journey the accused requested that he be allowed to use the toilet. The driver stopped the bus and allowed him to do this.”
The court heard that the other man asked Masters to hurry up and this sparked an argument.
The bus continued on its journey but trouble flared when Masters reached his stop.
Ms Steele said as the bus came to a stop outside Buchlvyie the accused stood up and began punching the man on the the head.
“It was described as a sustained assault,” she said.
“The bus driver tried to pull the accused away from the victim but the accused tried to push past the driver to continue the assault.”
The driver got Masters off of the bus and drove away. When he reached Balfron police and an ambulance were called.
The victim of the attack had swelling and cuts to his ear but declined hospital treatment.
Masters, of Main Street, Buchlyvie, was traced by police a few days later.
He appeared from custody on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to the assault charge.
He was also appearing for shoplifting from the Co-op in Callander and for breaching a community payback order by committing crimes.
His solicitor Alistair Ross said: “It’s his position that he was spat on during the course of the argument. That enraged him and, because of the drink he had taken, he acted in the way described.”
Mr Ross said that this spitting may have happened in the course of the argument, rather than having been done intentionally.
Sheriff William Gilchrist told Masters: “You were made subject of a community payback order with a conduct requirement that you refrain from committing other offences.
“Since then you have now committed these two offences, one of which was a theft and the other an assault on a bus, which is clearly a matter of concern.
“You clearly have not learned a lesson from your last court appearance and, in my view, a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal.”
He jailed Masters for six months for the assault and added three months for breaching the community payback order, backdated to April 24, the date he was remanded.
Sheriff Gilchrist also imposed a community payback order with an 18-month supervision requirement for the shoplifting charge. This will start when Masters is released from prison.