‘Shame’ of homophobic attack in Carstairs street

A casual conversation outside a Clydesdale pub turned into a vicious homophobic attack on a partner in a same-sex marriage.

Friday, 20th November 2015, 10:45 am
Assault happened outside the Village Inn in Carstairs

Lanark Sheriff Court heard this on Thursday when the Carstairs teenager who admitted committing the assault was told that he should be “crawling on the ground in shame” for his actions on the night he attacked the man, apparently after being told by his victim that he was married to another male.

The comment from Sheriff Nikola Stewart was directed at 19-year-old Kieran Stewart of the village’s 37 Rosemount Crescent, who pleaded guilty to committing the offence outside The Village Inn in Carstairs on June 20 this year.

Specifically, he admitted that, on that date and at that location, he assaulted Russell Gunn by repeatedly punching him on the head to his injury, causing Mr Gunn’s glasses to fall to the ground and his mobile phone to strike a window and that this was aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation,

The Crown accepted his not guilty plea to a further charge, that, at the same time and location of the assault, he acted in a threatening manner, repeatedly shouted and swore and uttered homophobic, offensive remarks.

After Stewart’s solicitor had entered the pleas on his client’s behalf, the Crown related the course of events on the night in question.

The victim, Mr Gunn, had been in The Village Inn that evening, socialising with his legal husband when, at around 11.30pm, he decided to go outside for a cigarette.

Once outside the pub, he encountered Stewart; neither man was known to each other.

They struck up a conversation and Mr Gunn was asked by Stewart what he was doing that night and Mr Gunn told him he was having a night out with his husband.

The court heard that Stewart then launched an atttack on Mr Gunn, punching him in the face, causing his glasses to fly off and his phone to strike the pub window.

While Stewart was striking Mr Gunn, he used phrases like “You poof.”

After the assault, the police were called and officers found Mr Gunn suffering from bruising to the right eye.

Stewart was later charged with the assault, aggravated by homophobic prejudice.

Sheriff Nikola Stewart said that she would be calling for background reports on Stewart before passing sentence on him.

She commented: “I need a report on this. I want to know what was going on in the mind of someone who would do something like this in this day and age.

“What on earth did he think he was he doing?

“He should be crawling on the ground in shame at having done something like this.”

Having called for reports on Stewart to be drawn up, the sheriff deferred sentence on him until December 10.