Men in court over Cambuslang man's engagement party rammy
Jan 9 2013
By court reporter
A group of party-goers attacked a man and his son at the end of a Cambuslang man’s engagement party, a court was told this week.
The celebration had been held at Blantyre Miners’ Welfare Club to mark the engagement of Ryan Hill and his girlfriend.
Accused James Sinclair, of the town’s Kings Avenue, denied assaulting Joshua Reilly, then aged 15, to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment in 2011. He further denied assaulting Joshua’s father William Reilly to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement.
It was alleged at Hamilton Sheriff Court that 45-year-old Sinclair had struck Joshua, a cousin of Ryan, on the head with a belt and knocked him to the ground. He was further said to have struck William on the head with a belt, repeatedly punching him on the head and body and stamping on his head.
Both charges also alleged Sinclair had been acting with others unknown to the Crown. Sinclair lodged a special defence of incrimination containing the names of five men, alleging they had been responsible for the assaults.
Giving evidence on Monday, the first day of the jury trial, Joshua, 17, said he had attended the party at 9pm with his father, brothers David Reilly and Darren Louden, and David’s girlfriend.
Joshua denied he had been drinking at the event.
When the 30 party-goers were leaving at the end of the night, Joshua said he called a taxi. However, he claimed that at that point the peace was shattered when people began “jumping on top of my dad”.
Asked by fiscal depute Imran Bashir if he had seen anything that had led to the assault, Joshua replied he had not.
His father, he said, fell to the ground as “10 to 15” partygoers “kicked and punched” him. William tried to get away, but could not.
Joshua further described the assailants as being aged in their twenties or over. Asked by Mr Bashir if they were Ryan Hill’s friends, he said “yes”.
Darren, aged 25at the time, ran over to help his father, but it was claimed he was also “taken down to the ground” by the attackers who, the teenager said, took their belts off and hit them. The belts, he explained, were wrapped round their hands with the buckles loose. They were also said to have “lashed out” with the belts.
Joshua said William and Darren “didn’t get the chance” to defend themselves.
While the men were on the ground, the witness said he tried to grab his dad and brother, but could not get near them because “the guys ended up attacking me as well”.
Joshua said he had been attacked as he left the entrance of the car park. Three people, he claimed, “came out of nowhere” and punched and kicked him.
Darren then got on his feet and pushed the witness back into the car park. However, it was stated in court that Darren was “taken back to the ground” again.
The witness said he went to help his brother, but was struck on the right side of his face. He turned around and saw the man who had struck him.
The court heard the attacker tried to hit Joshua again with a belt, but he managed to avoid the blow.
At that point, Joshua said he “passed out” and the next thing he saw was a female police officer leaning over him.
Asked by Mr Bashir if he could see the man responsible for attacking him in court, he identified Sinclair in the dock.
Joshua claims he had not known Sinclair before the party, but he thought the accused had a plaster cast on his left arm at the time and may have been wearing a striped top.
The trial before Sheriff Carole Cunninghame continued yesterday.