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Newmill teenager "viciously attacked" stranger over unpaid £20 debt

By Ali Morrison

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A NEWMILL teenager and a group of accomplices viciously attacked a 19-year-old after a row at a party over an apparent unpaid £20 debt.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that victim Jack Rattray did not know what attacker Ewan Moir was talking about but offered to withdraw the cash "to avoid the hassle".

However, Moir (18) of Quarryhill, Newmill, grabbed Mr Rattray as he was about to enter a friend's car to travel home to Turriff from Keith's School Lane.

The incident on August 9, 2020, then got more violent as Moir punched Mr Rattray several times in the face as he tried to get into the vehicle.

Mr Rattray was then punched and kicked to the head and body by the group several times, although the court heard that Moir insisted he did not kick.

The court heard the injured man was pulled free and allowed to get into the car, suffering from a badly swollen face, covered in blood and having difficulty talking.

A subsequent hospital examination revealed that Mr Rattray suffered multiple facial fractures, including to his jaw, cheek bone and eye socket.

First offender Moir admitted assault to severe injury and permanent impairment. He later told police he didn't intend to cause such significant injury to the youth, whom he did not know.

Sentence has been deferred for a background report.

Defence solicitor Stephen Carty said: "This was a silly exchange which escalated very quickly.

"All he can do is apologise for the way he acted. The author of the report feels my client has learned his lesson."

Sheriff Margaret Neilson ordered Moir to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work as an alternative to custody.

She also told Moir he must pay Mr Rattray £2500 in compensation within a year.

But the Sheriff warned him any failure to carry out the orders would almost inevitably result in him going to a Young Offender's Institution.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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