Grandfather gets two years for pub attack

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A “doting grandfather” has been jailed for two years for a “vicious and unprovoked” assault on a fellow drinker in a Motherwell pub.

John Devanney kicked David Armstrong on the head, knocking him unconscious – CCTV pictures showed him continue the assault while the victim lay motionless.

Devanney, of Muirhouse Avenue, Motherwell, admitted assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement at the Bullfrog in Shields Road on May 27 last year

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard Devanney’s son Brian (26) was told he was barred from the pub. His dad raised the issue with the female bar manager and at one point threw a stool across the room in anger.

He was escorted out to the beer garden where violence flared. Armstrong, who’d tried to act as a peacemaker, ended up on the ground and cameras caught Devanney kicking him three times on the head and once on the body.

Michael Macintosh, prosecuting, said Armstrong was out cold for a short time. He suffered a cut to his forehead, which needed six stitches, and a wound to his nose. Both will leave permanent scarring.

Rowan Myles, defending, said Devanney had initially been trying to stop people attacking his son who was bitten on the ear and had a cut behind his ear that needed three stitches.

But the lawyer added: “He went over and above what was required of him.

“He used to be what could be described as a regular in the courts, but had long since put that behaviour behind him. He’d been out of trouble since February 2005 and I’d suggest what’s happened here is a one-off.

“He’s a hard working, family-focused man who is the main breadwinner in the house. He enjoys nothing more than spending time with his family and he dotes on his granddaughter.

“He presents as a suitable candidate for a community-based disposal.”

Sheriff Vincent Smith wasn’t convinced, though, and told Devanney: “This was a vicious and unprovoked assault on an innocent member of the public who was trying to prevent you from becoming involved in a fracas involving your son.

“The circumstances, coupled with your previous convictions, demonstrate to me that you are a man of violence.”