Gang sentenced for heartless attack on disabled man

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At the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday seven members of a gang, some as young as 15 at the time of the incident, were sentenced for an indefensible attack on a man with learning difficulties.

One 17-year-old male, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was ordered to be detained for six months.

Michael Clare, David Newlands, three males 16,17 and 17, and a 16-year-old female, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, had a two year supervision order imposed and were ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work within six months.

Another member of the gang, Jade Park, had sentenced deferred until June 20.

The court heard that at about 6.20pm on August 4, 2014 the 26-year-old victim was initially verbally abused and assaulted outside a fast food restaurant situated on the corner of Argyle Street and Jamaica Street in Glasgow city centre.

He tried to flee but was followed by the gang who continued their verbal and physical assaults as he went from building to building seeking refuge.

He was chased into a pub in Jamaica Street where he was assaulted outside the gents’ toilets where he had tried to hide. He then fled from there to Howard Street where he sought refuge in another pub. Despite telling the barmaid that he was in fear for his safety, he was ejected, assaulted once more and was chased again by the mob.

He was then cornered on the second floor of a derelict building on Howard Street. In a desperate attempt to escape, the man crashed through the window and fell two storeys. He was severely injured, suffering fractures to his legs and vertebrae.

The gang fled the scene when members of the public came to his aid and emergency services were contacted.

Speaking following the sentencing, David Harvie, Procurator Fiscal for West of Scotland, said: “This gang of cowards relentlessly pursued their terrified victim and caused him serious harm just because they thought he was different.

“Targeting someone because of disability, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or any other prejudice is totally unacceptable and a zero tolerance approach will be taken against all those who commit such offences.”

Three of the accused pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing in May and five pled guilty when they appeared at the High Court in Glasgow on November 23.

A 16-year-old male from Kirkintilloch pleaded guilty to a breach of the peace at the High Court in Glasgow on November 23 and was sentenced to a Community Payback Order with two years supervision and 150 hours unpaid work to be completed within six months.

A 16-year-old female from Milton of Campsie pleaded guilty to a breach of the peace at the High Court in Glasgow on May 21, 2015 and was senenced to a Community Payback Order with two years supervision and 150 hours unpaid work to be completed within six months.