Head butt assault at kids’ football match

Carluke's John Cumming Stadium
Carluke's John Cumming Stadium

Children playing football and their parents looked on in shock as an adult spectator butted another man at a match at Carluke’s John Cumming Stadium.

The incident followed what was claimed at Lanark Sheriff Court on Thursday to have been a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse being hurled at young players during the game.

Appearing in the dock for sentence was Alan McGrory, 37, after earlier pleading guilty by letter to having, on September 25 last year, assaulted Hugh Quinn by butting him to the head to his injury at the stadium, next to Carluke High School.

He was ordered to appear in person at court on Thursday, and he confirmed his guilty plea to the assault.

He also had a plea of not guilty to a further charge of driving in Carluke while uninsured on the day of the attack accepted by the crown.

Depute fiscal Ziad Hassan outlined the circumstances, saying that there was a children’s football match that morning, and Mr Quinn was there with his child.

As the match ended at around 10.30am, spectators heard an argument going on betwen Mr Quinn and another spectator, McGrory.

They then saw McGrory butt Mr Quinn, causing cuts to his forehead and nose.

Some adult spectators came to Mr Quinn’s aid, and others escorted McGrory out of the park, the court heard.

The police were called, and McGrory, of Newhouse Road, Grangemouth, was later traced and charged.

The solicitor acting for McGrory, Hannah Terrance, explained that her client’s son had been playing in the match and claimed that “the complainer had been repeatedly shouting expletives at young players”. She went on to say that McGrory claimed that some young mums had approached Mr Quinn to complain about that abuse and asked him to desist.

According to McGrory, said Miss Terrance, Mr Quinn then verbally abused them, prompting her client to intervene, and he then ending up butting Mr Quinn.

She went on to tell the court: “He overreacted. It was a stupid action, and he regrets it.”

She admitted that her client “is no stranger to the courts”, but his last conviction for any offence had been some years ago, she said.

She added that her client, a father of four, usually had a good job as a scaffolder but is currently on benefits.

Sheriff Mhairi McTaggart ordered that McGrory carry out 70 hours of unpaid work for the community within the next three months.