Thugs sentenced for mob attack on woman at bus station
A 17-year-old youth, who was part of a “baying mob” which assaulted a woman in a sickening incident at Dunfermline bus station, is behind bars.
A 16-year-old youth, who also took part in the assault and held a lighter flame to the woman’s hair, avoided a custodial sentence.
Both thugs have been made subject to a five-year anti-social behaviour order which bans them from being part of a group of more than three people in Dunfermline town centre.
A 17-year-old female was also involved in the assault but did not attend court for sentencing claiming to be sick. None of the attackers can be named for legal reasons.
All three admitted that on 9th September last year at Dunfermline bus station, whilst acting with others, they assaulted the woman by repeatedly spitting on her head and body, repeatedly kicking her on the body, causing her to fall to the ground.
The 16-year-old admitted a second charge of repeatedly putting a lighter at the woman’s head and putting a flame at her head.
The victim, who is in her forties and has learning difficulties, was repeatedly surrounded by a group of over 20 teenage males and females.
Her ordeal went on for around 25 minutes during which time the woman was kicked, knocked to the ground, repeatedly spat on and had her hair burned with a lighter.
The shocking incident was captured throughout on CCTV and was shown in full at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.
The bus station was still open at the time, around 11pm, with buses arriving and leaving. Others passengers waiting for their buses looked on but nobody went to the woman’s assistance before the police eventually arrived.
After watching the disturbing scenes, a sheriff said it was “remarkable” the police did not arrive earlier, with the incident being followed throughout by CCTV operators.
Depute fiscal Azrah Yousaf previously said in court, “It’s a particularly nasty and distasteful offence on a woman in her 40s and who has learning difficulties.
“She was extremely upset when police arrived. The woman is vulnerable and has mental health issues. When police arrived her hair was covered by spit.
“The three accused were part of a larger group. They were baying around her and seemed to be focussing their actions on the woman because of her vulnerability.”
Sheriff Charles MacNair said, “This behaviour was truly horrifying. The Crown previously described, entirely accurately that you had formed part of a baying mob and the complainer was clearly a very vulnerable person.
“Twenty years ago you would have appeared in the High Court for mobbing and rioting, instead you have been charged with art and part assault.
“It was committed in a public place, namely the bus station. It’s becoming notorious that groups of youths are gathering at the bus station and at Tesco to the alarm of members of the public in Dunfermline.”
The 17-year-old youth, from Dunfermline, was sentenced to 160 days detention at the young offenders institution.
The 16-year-old, from Rosyth, was put on a community payback order with 300 hours of unpaid work.
The sheriff was unimpressed by a comment from this accused’s defence solicitor that he was “only a schoolboy at the time”. Sheriff MacNair told the youth, “You knew perfectly well what you were doing.”
The third offender, who failed to appear, will be sentenced on 6th July.