Man fined £1,000 over drunken festive bust-up

Drunken antics at festive nights out came under fire from Sheriff Ian Cruikshank this week after a man admitted carrying out a series of assaults outside Mareel just four days before Christmas.

The sheriff was speaking before sentencing Mark Graham Smith, after the 29-year-old admitted three assaults on men.

Smith, of Ladieside in Brae, tried to butt a man on the body at Gutter’s Gaet.

The insulation engineer assaulted a second man by repeatedly punching him on the head and attempting to wrestle him to the ground.

And he punched a third man, a member of staff at the arts venue, on the body.

Smith was left a total of £1,200 out of pocket when he appeared in the dock on Wednesday.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Mareel staff had become concerned by Smith’s behaviour inside the arts venue.

Smith was escorted from the building. But once outside, he encountered two men sharing a joke with one another.

“He uttered that time-honoured line, ‘what are you laughing at?’,” the fiscal said of Smith. “But it was nothing to do with them.”

However, Smith moved towards one of the men and tried to butt him on the body.

Shortly afterwards Smith “directed his ire” at another man as he walked towards the museum.

“The accused ended up on the ground and got up and re-engaged with the complainer. He repeatedly tried to wrestle him to the ground and punched him on the head.”

A member of staff from Mareel was aware of what was happening and went to assist. Smith was restrained and appeared to calm down, but he assaulted the man as soon as he was released.

The police were called and Smith was arrested.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said the incident had happened on the last day of work before the Christmas holidays.

He said Smith had gone out with work colleagues. But he had drunk heavily and was told he should be on his way home.

Mr Allan said Smith only knew one of the complainers, and had already apologised to that person for what had happened.

“He was fairly incapable throughout all of this,” he said.

“He says he’s not had a drink since this happened. He appreciates he will be punished for this, and he’s certainly prepared to accept that.”

Sheriff Cruikshank fined Smith a total of £1,000 and ordered him to pay £200 in compensation.

“You should be ashamed,” he told Smith. “This annual combination of Christmas and Christmas nights out – I don’t know if we will have to ban Christmas or ban alcohol.

“People need to understand if they act through drunken stupidity, they will be dealt with relatively severely.

“It is an example of violent disorder in a place where people went to be entertained.”


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