Musselburgh glazier cleared of head-butting teen and breaking his nose
A Musselburgh glazier has been cleared of assaulting a teenage boy by head-butting him and breaking his nose.
John Stewart was alleged to have struck the boy to the face during an incident at his former home in Macmerry in September 2019.
The boy claimed he was left “gushing with blood” following the alleged attack after which he was taken to hospital for treatment.
Stewart denied the charges against him and stood trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
The alleged victim, who cannot be identified due to legal reasons, gave evidence to the court that he had been at Stewart’s home at around midday and a struggle ensued between them.
The boy, who was 16 at the time, said he attempted to leave the property but Stewart grabbed him during the row and following a physical altercation he was head-butted to the face.
The boy claimed Stewart did this on purpose and he was forced to defend himself by running to the kitchen and grabbing a knife for protection.
The boy said during the incident he “was worried for my own life” and was forced to push his nose back into place in a bid to repair the damage.
But during cross examination by defence solicitor David Storrie the boy could not produce any medical evidence his nose had been broken and there were no medical notes produced to back up his claim.
Stewart, 57, a glazier with Edinburgh City Council, told the court it was the boy who had initially been aggressive towards him and it was the boy who had grabbed him by the collar.
He admitted the pair grappled with each other but said the boy’s injury took place after the pair fell onto a couch and his head came into contact with the boy’s face.
Stewart told the court he had been injured himself after attempting to grab the kitchen knife from the boy’s hand and all his actions were in self-defence.
He said his head coming together with the boy’s face as they fell on to the couch was ‘a complete accident” and was “100 per cent not deliberate”.
Following the evidence being heard Sheriff Adrian Flinn said he had found the boy’s evidence to be “not credible or reliable” and that he preferred the evidence of Stewart.
The sheriff added he believed Stewart was acting in self-defence during the physical struggle with the boy and that “the injury was an accident”.
Sheriff Flinn found Stewart not guilty of assaulting the boy and told him he was free to leave the dock.