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Elgin pub-goer punched man in the face

By Ali Morrison

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Elgin Sheriff Court.
Elgin Sheriff Court.

A pub-goer was arrested after a verbal confrontation turned physical and he punched another man in the face.

Mitchell McGrath got into an altercation at a bar in Elgin town centre on July 14 last year.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard that the 34-year-old had just been refused service at the bar.

He was described as "staggering" over to a group of strangers who had gone out for a drink after work.

McGrath put his arm around the shoulders of one of them.

He was asked to go away.

Procurator Fiscal Victoria Silver told the court there was a marked change in McGrath's mood.

Words were exchanged and McGrath turned to leave.

One of the strangers told him: "Keep on ******* walking".

Instead, he turned back round and hit the man on the nose.

The police were passing the pub at the time.

They were flagged down by the victim's friends who stated what had happened and pointed out McGrath.

The court heard that CCTV footage showed the assault had not been provoked by anything physical.

Defence solicitor Stephen Carty stated his client was a family man who did not frequent pubs very often nowadays.

The lawyer added that while McGrath had previous convictions for assault, these dated back several years.

Mr Carty said: "He recognises that himself and alcohol don't always mix particularly well.

"He also recognises that his reaction was well over the top.

"However, I'd ask the court to allow him to demonstrate that his life has calmed down considerably."

Sheriff David Sutherland deferred passing any sentence.

Instead, he ordered McGrath, of Scone Road, Elgin, to return to the court in six months.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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