A teenager, who plead _not guil_ty at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court was acquitted yesterday of an assault leading to injury and permanent disfigurement of the complainant. In the trial against Andrew C., 17, from Edinburgh,the witness statements have not proven to the majority of the jury, that he smashed a glass in the face of the family friend Daniel G. during a pub brawl at the Hibernian Supporters Club in Sunnyside, Edinburgh, a year ago.
The evening of the birthday party ended with Daniel G. sustaining three wounds on the head and face, he needed forty stitches. Andrew C. claimed he threw a punch in self-defence, whilst also incriminating a friend of his,18-years old James.
The sheriff Iain Simpson explained to the jury, that if they would want to convict, the crown would need to establish without reasonable doubt that the accused used a glass and they would need to believe Daniel’s statement.
However, Daniel G. could not remember parts of the evening, as he was under the influence of Cannabis, the heroine-substitute Methadone and additionally three times over the alcohol limit to drive, the court heard. He was the only witness to incriminate Andrew C., whereas the four witnesses of the defence, as well as Daniel’s sister Louisa G., witness of the prosecution, only saw James D_. smash a whole pint over his he_ad.
- The procurator fiscal John Barclay downgraded the charge on the final day of the trial to concern only one injury out of the three.
- Addressing the jury, he stated
- The sheriff is the master of the law and you are the master of the facts.
In his closing speech, John Barclay argued_:
Andrew C. was evasive, he wasn’t forthcoming. He came over as someone who tried to do the impossible: protect his friend and protect himself.”
_ He added:
He lied to the police and I suggest to you he lied in court. In terms of the law we can safely return a guilty verdict.
The lawyer of the defence, Matthew Nicholson, told the jury_:
Although Andrew C. did not tell the police the whole truth, do not judge too harshly, he only just turned 16, he was foolish and perhaps stupid. If you ask yourself: I wonder what really happened that evening at the Hibs Supporters Club, then you can not convict Andrew C. of this crime._