‘A tap, not a punch,’ man tells court

Campbeltown Sheriff Court.
Campbeltown Sheriff Court.

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A 20-year-old man who appeared before Sheriff Patrick Hughes in Campbeltown last week said he gave a woman ‘a tap, not a punch’ and that it was only ‘drunken banter’.

The sheriff disagreed and found him guilty.

Blair McCallum of 71 Meadows Avenue, Campbeltown, denied assaulting the woman by repeatedly punching her on her body, causing her to fall against a parked car, to her injury.

The incident happened on March 15 last year on Longrow, Campbeltown.

The court was shown photographs taken by the police of the bruising to the 21-year-old woman’s face and also her arm which was hurt when she struck the car.

The woman was one of a group of friends who had been drinking in a pub in the town centre and had all been invited back to a house party.

‘He [McCallum] was not invited, he just wanted to tag along,’ she told the court.

As they walked to the house, stopping at a fish and chip shop, she said McCallum had made comments about her body.

Procurator fiscal depute James Dunbar told the court that McCallum ‘made advances towards her but she was not interested’.

The woman told the court: ‘He started to be aggressive and he punched me in the face three times and then he pushed me.’

During cross examination she said she had been drinking but was ‘tipsy, not drunk’.

McCallum’s defence agent, Stephen MacSporran, said: ‘Was it not the case that you were drunk? Was it not the case you were play fighting, pushing into each other?’

Mr MacSporran said that her evidence contained ‘exaggeration and embellishment’.

Another woman in the group, also aged 21, said they were ‘all a bit merry’ and while she had not seen the incident happen, she heard the injured woman ‘kind of scream’ and she turned round.

‘I told him to go home; he just kept pestering us,’ she added.

The police officer who photographed the woman’s injuries said that the victim was upset.

When arrested and charged, McCallum said to the officer: ‘I never punched her, for a start; I just tapped her face. We were just having a carry on.’

Giving evidence in court, McCallum said that the party was at his uncle’s house and he said about the two women: ‘They were very drunk; they were worse than me, a bit staggery.’

He described the incident as normal drunken banter: ‘We were both shoving each other.’

He added that if he had punched her three times, as she said, the mark on her face would have been far larger.

McCallum said the woman drunkenly fell against the car injuring herself.

‘It was not a punch or slap,’ he said. ‘She tapped me on the face first and I tapped her back, that’s all.’

In finding McCallum guilty, Sheriff Hughes called for a Criminal Justice Work Report and a Restriction of Liberty Order Assessment to be prepared on him and the case will call again on September 16 for sentencing.