TWO teenagers repeatedly kicked a friend on the head as he lay defenceless on the ground, a court heard.
David Scott, 18, and his 17-year-old accomplice, who cannot be named for legal reasons, struck victim Marcus Jefferson with their fists in a vicious attack, causing bleeding in his brain.
[He] was taken to hospital with bleeding on the brain. The man could have diedSheriff Gerard Macmillan
Sentencing the pair yesterday, a sheriff described the assault as “brutal and cowardly” and told them their 18-year-old victim could have died.
Scott and his friend turned on Mr Jefferson in the garden of a West Lothian house after a drinking session.
Livingston Sheriff Court heard that Mr Jefferson had drunk a pint of vodka before trying to chat up Scott’s pregnant girlfriend.
Scott – who had taken drink and drugs – suffered a split lip in the argument which followed. He then punched Mr Jefferson on the head several times as he tried to make off then kicked him two or three times in the head as he lay on the ground.
His co-accused joined in and kicked Mr Jefferson once to the head and once to the body.
Alastair Macleod, prosecuting, said people who witnessed the incident on Rowan Street, Blackburn, shouted at the accused to stop and said they were calling the police, at which the pair walked away.
Paramedics found Mr Jefferson had a blood clot to the front of his head and superficial cuts and grazing over his scalp.
He was taken to St John’s Hospital in Livingston where it was found he had suffered a small bleed to the brain.
He was transferred to a neurosurgical unit where he was kept under observation for 72 hours before being discharged.
Both accused earlier admitted assaulting Mr Jefferson to his severe injury on June 27 this year.
Alan Jackson, defending Scott, said his client felt “bad and ashamed” that he had gone too far in the attack on a friend.
He added: “He feels remorseful about the extent of the injuries. He believes he was within his rights to assault him but not to the extent he did.”
Keri Evans, for the 17-year-old painter and decorator, claimed he was “genuinely remorseful” and offered his sincere apologies to the victim. She stressed he’d never been in trouble with the police before.
Sheriff Gerard MacMillan sentenced Scott to 18 months’ detention and ordered post-release supervision for a year.
He said: “This was a man taken to hospital with bleeding on the brain. For all you know the man could have died.”
Sheriff MacMillan sentenced the 17-year-old to be electronically tagged on a 6pm to 6am curfew for a year and ordered him to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work within 12 months under a community payback order. He also placed him under social work supervision for two years. The sheriff said: “This is an extremely serious matter and you’re extremely fortunate you’re not going to custody. You can thank your lucky stars for the plea that was made on your behalf.”