Notorious Asbo yob cleared of battering man in street fight

Inkster was banned from Midlothian in 2009
Inkster was banned from Midlothian in 2009
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A YOB once branded “Scotland’s worst teenager” has walked free from court after being cleared of charges he battered a man unconscious.

Gavin Inkster became the first person to be handed an Asbo banning him from an entire county after terrifying neighbours, breaking into houses and stealing cars in Midlothian in 2009.

Inkster, now 22, was alleged to have been part of a gang who attacked Jonathan Armitage during a street battle in Musselburgh in February.

Mr Armitage lost consciousness during the assault after being punched and kicked to the ground by a gang of men.

The victim was rushed to hospital after sustaining “significant bruising” to his head, body and arms.

Doctors later diagnosed Mr Armitage, 20, with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

At Haddington Sheriff Court yesterday ex-bin man Inkster, from Musselburgh, had his not guilty plea to the assault accepted by the Crown.

Paul Johnstone, a friend of Inkster’s, was remanded in custody after pleading guilty to an amended charge of assaulting Mr Armitage. He will be sentenced later this month.

The court was told that Johnstone, along with “two or three other men”, chased after Mr Armitage, 20, and his friends following a verbal altercation in Kilwinning Terrace, Musselburgh, in the early hours of February 2.

Depute procurator fiscal Alison Innes said: “On the evening of February 10 the complainer and friends had been out socialising and got back about 1am. Drink had been taken, and they were in good spirits.

“As they were walking down the street, one of them recognised the accused and others, and the accused shouted over ‘who the f*** are you?’.

“The accused’s sister then appeared and asked if they were going to fight her brother. The accused’s sister was then seen having an argument with the complainer.

“At that point the accused and others ran out of a stair and pursued the complainer and his friend. One of them tripped up the complainer who fell to the ground, and he was also punched in the head.

“As he lay on the ground he was assaulted by the accused and others by being repeatedly kicked and punched on the head and body.

“One of the group then noticed the complainer was lying on the ground drifting in and out of consciousness. Another friend called 999.”

Sheriff Peter Braid deferred sentence on Johnstone, 20, until 30 March in order to obtain a social work report.

Gavin Inkster was just a teenager when he was banned from setting foot in the county of Midlothian in 2009 after terrifying his local community.

Evidence from worried locals was collected by Midlothian Council before being presented to Edinburgh Sheriff Court where Inkster was handed the three-year banning Asbo in August 2009. He was sent to an offenders boot camp in Wester Ross after breaking the curfew just four weeks later.

A police insider said at the time: “I’d say he [Inkster] is Scotland’s worst teenager.”