A teenager has avoided a jail sentence after being convicted of a severe assault during an incident in Kennoway earlier this year.
Leighton Hughes was found guilty of the charge after a three-day trial last month at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.
I take at face value your assurance that you’ll never offend or come before the court again.Sheriff Alastair Thornton
Co-accused Macauley Hutchison (18) received 24 weeks’ detention for his part in the fracas, having already admitted related charges.
Sentence had been deferred on Hughes until last Thursday for a Criminal Justice Social Work report.
The 17-year-old was sentenced to almost two years’ supervision under a community payback order, instructed to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work within six months and to pay £1000 compensation to the victim, at £50 per month over 20 months.
He will also be tagged under a restriction of liberty order, between 11.30pm and 7am, for six months.
Hughes, of Halfields Gardens, Kennoway, was warned by Sheriff Alastair Thornton that a custodial sentence had topped the list of options for disposing of the case, as it was such a serious assault.
However, the report contained a number of aspects in his favour.
Hughes had been found guilty of assaulting Jason King in Bishops Court, Kennoway, on March 27, to his severe injury and permanent impairment, while acting with Hutchison and others unknown.
Hutchison, appearing from custody, had been remanded in relation to other matters.
He had also admitted, while acting with others unknown, assaulting Sandy King, brandishing a bottle at him, chasing him and repeatedly punching and kicking him on the head and body to his injury, as well as acting aggressively and having an offensive weapon (a bottle) in a public place.
His 24-week sentence was backdated to June 4.
Sheriff Thornton said he would take into account the fact Hughes was not the only perpetrator.
He was a first offender who appeared to have no previous involvement with the police and was still a young man.
He had left school with a number of qualifications and was in employment and at college.
He had distanced himself from his previous associates and co-operated with the report, which concluded he was at a low risk of re-offending.
He also had a “very supportive, respectable, responsible family”, added the sheriff.
“You have expressed significant remorse for this incident and I take at face value your assurance that you will never offend or come before the court again,” he said.
The community payback order would be “stringent”, he added, with a number of requirements, including attendance at a whole system work programme.
The restriction of liberty offer was “a punitive element which will curtail future opportunities for any drunken violence of the kind for which you have been convicted,” said Sheriff Thornton.
The sheriff warned Hughes that, if there were any breaches of the orders, he “would not hesitate” in imposing detention, probably for at least 18 months to two years, given the nature of the offence.