Jail sentence for St Andrews assaults

Cupar Sheriff Court.
Cupar Sheriff Court.

A MAN is behind bars after carrying out a ‘nasty’ assault on a woman just three weeks after launching a booze-fuelled attack on a friend who tried to warn others he was carrying a hammer.

Stonemason Kane McGuire (35), was on bail when he assaulted Lynn Hodgens in a house in Wallace Street, St Andrews, grabbing her by the throat and punching her in the face, Cupar Sheriff Court has heard.

He had been awaiting sentence for having a hammer in his possession and for an assault in which he’d punched Iain Thompson to the head in Sandyhill Road, also St Andrews.

McGuire, of 5A Railway Place, Cupar, was told by Sheriff Charles Macnair that there was ‘no appropriate alternative’ to a custodial sentence, and was jailed for a total of 270 days.

The sheriff described his record - which included five assaults and a domestic breach of the peace - as ‘unenviable.’

McGuire had admitted having the hammer in Sandyhill Road on May 26 this year; assaulting Mr Thompson by punching him on the head on the same date, and assaulting Ms Hodgens on June 15 by seizing her by the neck and repeatedly punching her on the face to her injury.

Depute fiscal Nicola Henderson told the court that McGuire and Mr Thompson had been at a barbecue in Sandyhill Road, but ‘tensions’ had developed and they left to go to the town centre, visiting several pubs during the day.

Later they returned to the home of the accused, who was then living in St Andrews, and Mr Thompson saw him pick up a hammer that was secreted in weeds in the front garden.

They then set off back to the barbecue and Mr Thompson, fearful of what McGuire might do, walked ahead to warn the party hosts.

When he realised what had happened, the accused shouted at him before pushing him to the ground and punching him.

He threw the hammer into the garden and it was later retrieved by police.

Ms Henderson said that McGuire and Ms Hodgens were in a relationship at the time of the second incident.

He had been expected home from work at 5pm but didn’t return until 10.30pm after a night in the pub.

When she challenged him about a mobile phone conversation he was having, he began shouting at her. She sat down on the couch but the accused approached her, punched her hard on the face with his fist, knocking her off the couch to the floor.

He then grabbed her by the throat, pinned her against a wall and punched her again to the face, causing her nose to start bleeding.

A friend who was in the house at the time called the police, and the accused went to a nearby bar with the friend he’d been talking to on the phone.

Defence agent David Bell told the court that alcohol had been involved on both occasions.