Fife students scarred for life in glass attack

The attack happened near the Byre Theatre. Picture: Greg Macvean
The attack happened near the Byre Theatre. Picture: Greg Macvean

A pair of university students have been left scarred for life after being attacked in the street after a run-in with a gang of thugs dubbed the Three Musketeers.

One of the victims was left fighting for his life after being glassed in the wake of a rum promotion evening at the student union disco in St Andrews.

A jury found Liam Hogg (20) and a 16-year-old boy guilty of carrying out the sickening attack in February this year, which left the students with life changing injuries.

Hogg was sentenced to four years detention, while the 16-year-old – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was locked up for 33 months.

Robert Doyle (21) admitted acting in a threatening manner and he was ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work and placed under supervision for a year.

The jury at Perth Sheriff Court was told that the gang were already drunk when they managed to get signed in to the students’ union during a Morgans Spiced Rum promotional event.

They left the club to go to a student house party they had heard about, but had not been invited to as they were unknown to any of the students involved.

After they were turned away they ran into a group of students in the street which included Andrew Jones (20) and Connor McAuley (20).

There was a minor fracas between the groups, with the accused being described in court as acting like they were the Three Musketeers – as they were “one for all and all for one.”

Doyle was tripped as his group walked through the centre of St Andrews and the students followed their rivals through the town late at night.

By the time they clashed again near the Byre Theatre, the trio, from Methil, had armed themselves with broken bottles and set about stabbing and injuring the students.

Sheriff Pino Di Emidio said: “You had been drunk in St Andrews, went to the student union, then tried unsuccessfully to go to a student house after-party.

“You were all considerably under the influence of alcohol. After the failed attempt to enter the house to which you were not invited there was an altercation.

“The assaults were carried out with broken bottles. Mr Jones was left with a significant, unsightly scar on his face and is much more apprehensive about going out now.

“Mr McAuley received a significant blow to the neck that left an unsightly scar. The jury decided the attack was to the danger of his life.

“The complainers would have been more sensible to let you get on your way, but no matter the degree of aggravation their actions might have caused you, there was no excuse for this outburst of very serious violence.”

He told Hogg he was considered a “maximum risk” to reoffend and added that the younger boy was also deemed to be potentially “high risk” by social workers.

He told the 16-year-old: “You have to be sentenced as a child. As such I consider the following factors – a lack of maturity, greater susceptibility and vulnerability to outside pressures and a character not as well formed as that of an adult.”

The victims told the court that following the gang after the initial run-in had been the worst decision of their lives after being subjected to “horrific” violence.

Hogg and the youth were found guilty of scarring Andrew Jones for life, and scarring Connor McAuley for life while subjecting him to a life threatening attack. They were also found guilty of threatening or abusive behaviour on February 24 by acting aggressively and throwing bottles.

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