Man who punched woman on Mad Friday is fined

A reveller punched a woman in the face during a "Mad Friday" mass street brawl, Jedburgh Sheriff Court has been told.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 3:40 pm
The mass brawl in Jedburgh on Mad Friday, 2020.

More than a dozen people were involved in the major disturbance in a Borders town's main street on the final Friday before Christmas – a traditional night in the Borders for over-indulgence in alcohol with many workers starting their festive holidays break.

The chaotic scenes were filmed by residents living in High Street, Jedburgh, and shared on social media, with people swapping punches as they lay sprawled on the ground.

Eleven months on at Jedburgh Sheriff Court – ironically a stone's throw from where the brawl happened – 28-year-old Andrew Davidson was fined £350 after admitting assaulting a named woman during the incident.

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Events started in the Spread Eagle Hotel – Scotland's oldest continually licensed hotel dating back to 1604 – when the group that self-employed groundworker Davidson was with were asked to leave at around 5.30pm, which they did.

However, ill-feeling was expressed in a short conversation between Davidson and a hotel staff member and the woman tried to intervene and calm the situation.

Depute fiscal Joanna Waller said: “Police were contacted and in the meantime Davidson had gone out into the High Street where various other people were involved in a disturbance.

"The accused then walked up to the complainer and punched her in the middle of the face, causing her a minor injury of swelling to the nose."

Defence lawyer Colin Severin said ill-feeling had developed between the two parties on the night.

Davidson of Howdenburn Court, Jedburgh, pleaded guilty to punching the woman to her head to her injury in High Street on December 18 last year.

A not guilty plea to earlier assaulting a male employee at the Spread Eagle Hotel by grabbing him to the neck, pushing him to the ground and punching him to the head was accepted by the Crown.

Davidson, who has a large income from his groundworks and plant hire business, was given 28 days to pay the £350 fine with a £20 victim surcharge added.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said he was prepared to accept the incident as a "one-off."