Teenager broke man’s jaw during argument in Earlston

Selkirk Sheriff Court.
Selkirk Sheriff Court.

A teenager broke a man’s jaw with a punch during an argument after this year’s Earlston Sevens rugby contest.

The victim had arrived at a party in Station Road, Earlston, to pick someone up on the night of May 6.

His vehicle was approached by Nathan Rice, 18, of Glenburn Avenue, Newtown, and the teenager started acting in an aggressive manner and tried to get into the vehicle where a woman was sitting.

The car’s owner then returned to the vehicle and told Rice to go away, prompting the pair to square up to each other.

Selkirk Sheriff Court was told that the pair began pushing each other, then Rice punched the man in the face.

The court heard that the victim woke up at 11.30am the next day and could not close his mouth, discovering, after attending hospital, that he had a broken jaw.

Defence lawyer Mark Harrower said the hotel worker felt bad about what had happened as he had not intended to inflict such an injury.

He added: “He is a young man of good character and has learned a valuable lesson of what the consequences can be.”

Rice pleaded guilty to charges of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and assault to severe injury.

Sheriff Mark Thorley told him: “No doubt drink played a part in this, but at least you have shown remorse for your actions.”

Rice was given a 12-month community payback order involving 160 hours of unpaid work.