Tranent man pleads guilty to campaign of abuse against vulnerable ex-school pal

A callous thug carried out a campaign of abuse against a vulnerable school pal including pouring raw eggs over his head and shaving off an eyebrow.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 9:53 pm

William Wallbank assaulted the man and stole money from him at addresses in Musselburgh and Edinburgh. The pair had been reintroduced years after they attended the same school.

Wallbank, 25, and a group of his friends would turn up to the man’s home for drinking sessions in 2018 and 2019.

The court head how Wallbank assaulted the victim - who was described as having the mental capacity of a six-year-old - after the man said he was being “pressured into having more people at his home”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

On one occasion Wallbank poured raw egg over the man’s head as he slept before shaving off one of the man’s eyebrows for a prank.

The brute also assaulted and stole money from his girlfriend who was also described in court as suffering from vulnerabilities.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told Wallbank, from Tranent, punched the man on the body and shoulders on several occasions in 2018.

The following year unemployed Wallbank stole money from the man’s wallet and also took him to an ATM to withdraw cash for him.

He also made the victim buy goods for him during numerous shopping trips to a local supermarket and in total Wallbank stole £3000 from the man.

The court heard Wallbank and his pals arrived at the man’s Edinburgh home in July 2019 and soon began assaulting him by punching and kicking him.

The man later fell asleep and Wallbank “pouted raw eggs” over him as he slept while Wallbank also “shaved off his left eyebrow”.

The group then told the confused victim he had been sick over himself.

Wallbank was also said to have “preyed” on his girlfriend over the same period and also stole £1500 from her on various occasions.

Fiscal depute Anna Robertson said the woman was “too scared to confront the accused due to the repercussions”.

Police were called in after the woman and the male victim confided in each other and decided to end the campaign of abuse.

Wallbank pleaded guilty to five charges at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Not guilty pleas to a further 16 offences were accepted by the Crown.

Solicitor Andrew Mellor, defending, said his client lived at home with his mother but would reserve his full mitigation to the sentencing hearing.

Sheriff Douglas Keir deferred sentence to next month for the preparation of social work reports, a psychiatric report and a restriction of liberty order assessment.

Wallbank pleaded guilty to assaulting the man by repeatedly striking and pushing him to the body in Musselburgh between January 1 and December 31, 2018 and to stealing £3000 from the man between October 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019 at Tollcross, Edinburgh.

He also admitted to a charge of assaulting the man by seizing him, pushing him on the body, striking him to the head, body and legs and pouring raw eggs over him and shaving off an eyebrow at an address in Edinburgh on July 6 or 7, 2019.

Wallbank pleaded guilty to further charges of assaulting the woman by repeatedly punching her on the leg and to stealing £1500 from her at various locations between October 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription at https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/subscriptions.