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Balintore man denies assault

By SPP Reporter

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From Tain Sheriff Court
From Tain Sheriff Court

THE TRIAL of a Balintore youth charged with attacking a man with a bottle after a dance during Tain Gala Week, began at Tain Sheriff Court today because one of the witnesses is leaving for Australia.

Richard Stewart (17) of Abbotshaven has lodged a special plea of self defence.

Michael Stein (21), who next week heads off to look for work in Australia, was giving evidence and told the court he was struck by Stewart in an unprovoked attack.

But Stewart claims he was head-butted by Mr Stein and pushed by one of his friends before lashing out with the bottle.

Stewart is charged with assaulting Mr Stein at the Railway Station in Shore Road, Tain, by striking him on the head with a bottle or similar instrument to his injury on July 2 last year after a marquee dance on the links at Tain.

Depute Fiscal Roderick Urquhart told Sheriff Ian Anderson he wished to hear Mr Stein’s evidence then the trial could be adjourned to a later date to allow him to go to Australia.

Mr Stein told the court he had been drinking with friends at the Saint Duthus Hotel before going to the dance. He said he consumed six to eight pints of lager at the pub and some vodkas at the marquee bar.

On his return to the town at the railway station he described how he was struck and required hospital treatment.

“Ricky (Stewart) was mouthing off and a bottle came across my head. I saw the bottle, it was in his hand. He took it from behind his back and hit me right on the head and I went down,” he told the Sheriff.

Mr Stein refuted a suggestion by solicitor for Stewart, George Mathers, that what had happened was Stewart had been shoved by one of his (Mr Stein’s) friends then he (Mr Stein) head-butted Stewart, causing him to fall to the ground.

“And when he was knocked down the two of you were ready to lay into him.”

And that, said Mr Mathers, was when Stewart got up and struck him.

Mr Stein said he was taken to Invergordon Hospital where he had two steri-strips put onto a wound on his head. He said he was still suffering from serious headaches and was seeing his doctor about that.

After Mr Stein’s evidence was heard the sheriff adjourned the trial until August 23.

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