Two men who repeatedly punched and kicked a man, leaving him unconscious, have been found guilty at Lerwick Sheriff Court.
Callen Tyler Laurenson, 23, of Hamnavoe, and Kieran Roy Llewellyn, 24, of Arheim, Lerwick, were both fined £750 for the attack on Esplanade on 22nd September 2019.
The victim, 18, at the time of the assault, described in court how he and two friends had left Thule Bar around 2.45am and, after being too late to enter another bar, headed to the taxi rank by Lerwick Harbour.
The victim claimed the accused, in a group of three, smashed a bottle on the ground and he asked them to “f*cking pick that up”.
Procurator fiscal, Duncan MacKenzie asked him: “Wasn’t that asking for trouble?” to which the victim replied: “Probably”.
The victim testified that after that he just remembered waking up in hospital.
Defence agents Tommy Allan, representing Llewellyn, and Liam McAllister for Laurenson, claimed both men reported the victim “sprinting across the road” and punching Llewellyn in the back of the head in an unprovoked attack, and that their initial actions to wrestle the victim to the ground were justified.
Llewellyn later visited his GP with a suspected concussion.
However it was the actions after the victim was on the ground that the charge revolved around with Allan saying his client “accepts that he struck him twice when not in a position to do so”.
Two friends of victim, who were with him at the time, both testified to seeing two men kicking the victim while he lay on the ground, a claim strongly denied by both defence agents.
There were also discrepancies between the two prosecution witnesses recollections of the evening with one claiming the victim was walking behind them towards the taxi rank before crossing the road towards the accused, the other saying he was in front of them.
The friend of the accused, not charged in connection to the incident but present during it, also said the victim attacked one of the accused unprovoked, saying: “It still baffles me to this day, as far as I am concerned it was a complete stranger.”
In summing up, Mr MacKenzie said the testimony of the witnesses came down to credibility over reliability with all three witnesses admitting to prolonged consumption of alcohol during the evening.
However Sheriff Ian Cruickshank found the witnesses to be credible and found that the accused did repeatedly punch and kick the victim, although he conceded that at the outset there may have been justification in the accused’s actions in the manner the altercation began.