Aug 24 2011 Airdrie & Coatbridge
Airdrie Sheriff Court
TWO Coatbridge teenagers involved in a vicious assault and robbery appeared at Airdrie Sheriff Court last Wednesday.
Sean McLean (16) of Culzean Avenue, and Sean Lawrie (16) of Merrystone Court, pleaded guilty to the attack on a “defenceless man” on April 2 in St John Street, Coatbridge.
Acting with Raymond Hartley (22) whose address was given as HM Prison Addiewell, they admitted attempting to strike their victim on the head with a bottle or similar implement, repeatedly punching and kicking him on the head and body and repeatedly stamping on his head.
Hartley was jailed for five years for the cowardly attack, which was captured on CCTV and also included the theft of the victim’s mobile phone, a chain and a quantity of money.
Brian Mohan, defence agent for McLean, told the court that his client had been involved to a lesser degree in the incident than the others.
Addressing Sheriff Robert Dickson, Mr Mohan said: “This is a case when I have to ask you to distinguish between Sean McLean and his co-accused.
“He pleaded guilty following legal advice but it is quite apparent that Sean McLean did not use any violence towards [the victim].
“He did participate in the matter and there is a part at the end of the video you can see him tapping the pockets of [the victim].
“That very involvement at the end did not involve him taking anything.”
Mr Mohan said that McLean was easily led but had no previous convictions and was supported in court by his family.
He added: “He has had one heck of a fright about what happened that night and the consequences of the incident.”
Robert Manini, representing Lawrie, acknowledge his client’s greater role in the incident and immediately asked for his sentence to be deferred for a psychiatric report.
Addressing both the accused, who stood in the dock together, Sheriff Robert Dickson said: “No doubt when you saw the video, you realised what a brutal and malicious attack this was on a defenceless person.
“I am told you were shocked when your co-accused was jailed for five year.
“This was a piece of disgraceful behaviour and a deliberate assault and robbery on someone who had too much to drink and was lonely and wanted to talk to someone.”
Speaking directly to Lawrie, Sheriff Dickson said: “I cannot sentence you until I get more information but it is fair to warn you that you are not in the same category as Mr McLean. You were an active participant.”
Lawrie was then told his sentence would be deferred until September 28 for the court to obtain background reports.
Turning his attention to McLean, the Sheriff said: “You pled guilty at the earliest opportunity and you have to be given credit for that.
“I am taking into consideration your participation, what’s in a report and the backing of your parents.”
McLean was placed on a community payback order and told to be of good behaviour for two years.
Sheriff Dickson warned him: “If you don’t behave, you will be brought back here and you will be following Mr Hartley to prison.”