Former youth boxer faces jail for assaults

A jury at Hamilton Sheriff Court found Lee Murray guilty on two counts of assault.
A jury at Hamilton Sheriff Court found Lee Murray guilty on two counts of assault.

A former boxer could be jailed after he was convicted of two serious assaults in Motherwell town centre.

One of Lee Murray’s victims had his jaw broken and the other suffered bleeding to the brain after being knocked to the ground.

Murray (21), of Lorne Drive, Motherwell, tried to blame Commonwealth Games boxing medallist Reece McFadden for the first assault.

It was alleged by a witness that Murray and McFadden ran from the scene, shouting “Forgewood boys on top. Don’t mess.” However, although McFadden was interviewed by police he was never charged.

Murray, who boxed competitively as a teenager, was found guilty of assaulting Kieran Walsh to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement in Airbles Street in May 2014. He was also convicted of assaulting Graeme Turner by punching him repeatedly to his severe injury in High Road, Motherwell, in November that year.

Mr Walsh hit his head on the ground and was knocked out. He needed an operation on a broken jaw and a cut on his forehead has left a scar.

Steel erector Murray denied being responsible. He said he had been talking to McFadden before the assault which happened around 3am after they’d been at a nightclub - three months before the boxer won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in Glasgow.

Murray said he didn’t see McFadden hit anyone, but he did see the boxer run off after Mr Walsh was hit. Murray claimed he himself walked from the scene to get a taxi elsewhere in Motherwell.

Murray said he was “amazed and shocked” that a female witness had pointed him out as the culprit.

Regarding the alleged attack in High Road, Murray said he acted in self defence after being assaulted in the street as he left a friend’s 21st birthday party.

The court heard Mr Turner was knocked out by punches which floored him. He suffered two black eyes and, after complaining of dizziness, had a scan which showed minor bleeding to the brain. This wasn’t considered life-threatening and he made a full recovery.

A jury found Murray guilty of both charges. He is on bail and will be sentenced on April 7.

Witness Ria Kenyon (21) was sent to the cells after failing to impress Sheriff Shiona Waldron with her evidence regarding the assault on Mr Walsh. She was found guilty of contempt of court and bailed to await sentence next month.