News hailed for catching vicious thug

David Gilroy was arrested after the News published this CCTV image
David Gilroy was arrested after the News published this CCTV image
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A TEENAGER who fractured a man’s skull, cheekbone and jaw in a brutal attack is facing jail after being snared thanks to the Evening News.

David Gilroy knocked a stranger unconscious with a punch after he was refused entry to a nightclub during last year’s Festival.

The 18-year-old may have believed he had escaped justice over the assault in Bristo Square, but detectives passed CCTV images to the News in December.

Within days, Gilroy had been identified following publication, and the teenager appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday to plead guilty to assault.

Police chiefs offered thanks to readers who identified Gilroy after spotting him in the News.

A police spokesperson said; “David Gilroy carried out a particularly nasty and entirely unprovoked assault that left his victim with substantial injuries.

“We are delighted that, with the assistance of members of the public and the media, he has been brought to justice.”

Gilroy attacked Christopher Cathcart, 45, at around 2.30am on August 27 last year.

The sickening incident was captured by CCTV cameras in the area, with officers later releasing images of Gilroy and another man in the hope of solving the case.

Gilroy, of Ferry Road Drive, admitted a charge of assaulting Mr Cathcart by punching him on the head to his severe injury during a hearing yesterday before Sheriff Alistair Noble.

Depute procurator fiscal John Kirk told the court that Gilroy had been refused admission to a club in the minutes leading up to the attack.

He then walked up to Mr Cathcart, whom he had never met before, and punched him, causing his victim to fall over and sustain a number of severe injuries.

Mr Kirk said: “Images were released to the media – in particular, the Edinburgh Evening News and the Scottish Television website. As a result of the publicity generated, suspicion fell on the accused.”

Gilroy was then arrested by police and charged with assault.

Mr Kirk told the court that Mr Cathcart is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries.

Sheriff Noble deferred sentence on Gilroy until August 27 in order for the court to obtain reports about his character.

Police had described the incident in the early hours of the morning as “an entirely unprovoked assault”.

Officers considered the possibility that the attacker may not have been from Edinburgh as the city was awash with tens of thousands of visitors for the Festival.

The force has released a number of CCTV images of wanted suspects to the News in recent months as part of Operation Arable, a crackdown on robberies and muggings.

Police had received approval from the Crown Office to release security camera footage in the hope of a breakthrough.

Police have identified midnight to 4am as the worst time for muggings, with the culprits often trying to take advantage of revellers on nights out.