School attack teen dodges custody

Brannock High, Newarthill
Brannock High, Newarthill

A youth who thumped a pupil over the head with a bicycle pump during a disturbance at a school must get help with addiction and mental health problems.

The teenager was finally sentenced today, seven months after a warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to attend court.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, admitted assaulting a pupil, who was 16 at the time, at Brannock High School, Newarthill, in January 2016. He also admitted unlawful possession of a police baton near the school the following day.

Paula Russell, prosecuting, told Hamilton Sheriff Court the assault happened when the accused and a boy aged 15 went to the school. The 15-year-old was on a BMX bike and rode it along a corridor, bumping into a pupil.

Ms Russell told the court: “A scuffle broke out between the two and on seeing this the accused ran up behind the pupil and struck him on the head.

“This caused a 2cm wound and the pupil was taken to Wishaw General Hospital. The cut didn’t need stitches and was glued shut.”

Ms Russell said police were on patrol near the school next day when they saw the accused standing with a group of youths. He seemed “agitated”. They searched him and found a police baton hidden in his tracksuit trousers.

The accused admitted the charges last December, but failed to return to court for sentence the following month.

He appeared from custody before Sheriff David Bicket today.

Defence agent Ian Scott said his client has been known to social workers since the age of seven.

Sheriff Bicket ordered the youth to be supervised for 18 months and to attend addiction and mental health services. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work.

The sheriff told him this was all a direct alternative to custody, adding: “I regard these charges as serious, but you appear to have kept out of trouble since the case last called.

“I’m satisfied I can deal with this by way of a community payback order.”