Old Firm bar brawl leads to hefty fine

A man who glassed another man in the head following an Old Firm football match has been fined over £4,000.

David Houston, from Johnstone, was ordered to pay his victim £1,000 compensation after admitting smashing a glass into the side of his head on 3rd September 2022.

The incident occurred in the Marlex pub, hours after Celtic had beat rivals Rangers 4-0.

Lerwick Sheriff Court was told that though Houston was wearing a Rangers top, and his victim a Celtic top, it was not thought the attack was related to the footballing rivalry.

Bar staff at the pub were said to have become concerned that the atmosphere was becoming “tense” at around 6pm, with a “large number of locals and windfarm workers” together.

A widescale disturbance then kicked off at the bar, with “a number of people going to ground” during so.

CCTV showed an “unidentified female” interacting with Houston before it started, the court heard.

“It’s not clear who or what triggered the disturbance,” procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said.

The complainer and the female moved towards the exit door, and Houston soon followed before appearing to make comments to the pair.

Mr MacKenzie said the complainer pushed Houston in to the pub’s “vestibule area” between its two bars.

The man was grabbed from behind by a friend of Houston, and the complainer raised his arms “either to fend that man off or attempt to seize hold of the accused”.

Houston smashed his glass in to the side of the man’s head with “significant force” in response.

Mr MacKenzie said this was “clearly a deliberate action”, and that the man had then fallen to the ground.

Luckily he only sustained “minor injuries”, including a cut to his ear that required attention by an ambulance crew.

The 33-year-old Houston immediately left the scene.

The fiscal said Houston had two “significant previous convictions” for assaults in pubs, one of which also involved a glass.

Defence agent Peter Malone called for sentencing to be deferred for the preparation of background reports.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank was not swayed, however, and Mr Malone then argued against Houston being jailed.

He said his client “bitterly regrets becoming involved” in the incident, and stressed how fortunate he was that the injuries were not more serious.

Sheriff Cruickshank agreed it was “fortuitous” the injuries were not worse.

He said Houston’s previous convictions had done him “no favours whatsoever”.

But he added Houston had shown a “responsible attitude” by pleading guilty at the first available opportunity, and had “taken responsibility” for his part in the attack.

The sheriff fined Houston £3,175 for the assault, and ordered him to pay his victim a further £1,000.


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