A macho husband tried to defend his wife’s honour when another man chatted her up at a party - by asking if he was “gay” and hitting him with an ashtray.
Shane Nicholson, 41, of Lenzie Avenue, Livingston, West Lothian, appeared for sentence at Livingston Sheriff Court today.
He earlier pled guilty on indictment to breaching of the peace by shouting and swearing using homophobic language during the incident on June 2 last year.
He also admitted assaulting Ross Liddle, whose address was given as care of the Police, by repeatedly punching him on the head and body and striking him on the head with a glass ashtray at an address in Raeburn Rigg, Livingston.
Both charges were aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.
Fiscal depute Adrian Fraser said the trouble started when the accused asked Mr Liddle if he was gay.
He said: “In addition to being told he was gay, he was asked what it was like to be gay. That was how the homophobic language was used.”
Mr Fraser said the two men were later seen fighting in the garden of the property and Nicholson was seen to strike the other man on the head with the ashtray.
Mr Liddle was taken to hospital for medical examination. He had “significant bruising” on his head, face and forehead, but no broken bones.
Lawyer Iain Smith, defending, said his client had gone to the toilet during a drinking session at the house and returned to find Mr Liddle “initially chatting up then arguing” with his wife.
“There was an exchange involving these homophobic comments, which he accepts he made. The complainer – not that it makes any difference whether he was or was not homosexual – had been making advances to his wife.
“For what it’s worth, Mr Nicholson doesn’t have any homophobic sentiments athough his conduct that night would suggest that he did.
“He’s grateful there are no more serious injuries to the complainer and accepts full responsibility.”
Sheriff Jamie Gilmour fined Nicholson £600 and ordered him to pay £200 compensation to Mr Liddle.
He commented: “I’ve restricted the compensation in view of the fact that there was obviously provocation and you sustained injury yourself.”