Builder cleared of taping boy to ceiling

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A BUILDER accused of Sellotaping a boy to the ceiling and repeatedly punching his teenage brother was cleared of all charges today.

A jury at Livingston Sheriff Court found James Menzies not guilty of assaulting the boys, who were aged five and 13 at the time of the alleged attacks.

The jury reached its unanimous verdict after just one hour’s deliberation.

It found that the prosecution had failed to prove that Menzies Sellotaped the younger boy’s arms and legs, zipped him inside a toolbag and hung him from the ceiling before using him as a punchbag.

It also threw out an allegation that the burly builder, who weighs 16 stones, had repeatedly pinned the teenager to the ground and given him “dead arms and dead legs”.

Menzies, of East Whitburn, West Lothian, broke down in tears when the verdict was announced. His fiancée and members of his family greeted the decision with jubilation.

Giving evidence in his own defence as the five-day trial drew to a close, Menzies described the assault allegations as “a total fabrication”.

Menzies had denied placing Sellotape around the younger boy’s hands and feet, putting him in a bag, hanging the bag on the wall, repeatedly punching him, and locking the boy in his room.

He also denied pinning the older boy to the ground and repeatedly punching him on the arms and legs at a house in West Lothian between August 1 and December 10, 2010.