Gran hits out as assault charge dropped

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A BELLSHILL gran hit out this week after a man accused of assaulting her and ‘leaving her for dead’ walked free from court.

Janet Hamilton suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain after being attacked near her home in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

She expected to be called as a prosecution witness against Gary Maxwell at Hamilton Sheriff Court this week.

However, the 52-year-old was stunned to learn the charge against him had been dropped and he had been fined £800 for an assault on Janet’s partner, James Yuill.

It’s the THIRD time in just eight months that Maxwell (29) has had a serious assault charge dropped.

It was alleged that he and an unknown accomplice struck Janet repeatedly on the head with bottles to her severe injury and to the danger of her life in Thorndean Avenue, Bellshill.

Maxwell pleaded not guilty to this, but admitted punching and kicking Mr Yuill while on bail.

Janet, who has three grown-up children and seven grandchildren, said she was so scared when she was confronted by a group including Maxwell that she dialled 999 and told an operator she was about to be attacked.

She added: “The next thing I remember is waking up in a friend’s house.”

Janet said she spent more than a week in Wishaw General Hospital before being allowed home. However, she was suffering from severe headaches and hearing problems, and went back into hospital. She was then transferred to Glasgow’s Southern General where she spent another week under the observation of head injury specialists.

Janet said: “The thought of giving evidence in court was quite scary, but I couldn’t believe it when the fiscal told me the charge against Maxwell had been dropped.”

Her partner, James, suffered a broken rib and a black eye when Maxwell attacked him.

He said: “Janet was left for dead and yet Maxwell leaves court with a slap on the wrist. The justice system is ridiculous.”

Full story in this week’s Bellshill Speaker, out on Wednesday.