Glasgow & West Scotland

John Black's attack left John Gallagher brain damaged

A man who attacked an acquaintance with a wooden bat in a row over money left him brain-damaged, a court has heard.

John Black, 20, admitted hitting John Gallagher on the head with the weapon in Cleland, North Lanarkshire, in June last year, because he owed him £40.

The High Court in Glasgow heard how Mr Gallagher, 20, was now in a wheelchair and could only sit unsupported for a minute before requiring supervision

Judge Michael O'Grady deferred sentence on Black until next month.

The court heard how Black, and his friend Connor Hynds, 20, both from Wishaw, had been out at a nightclub before the attack.

Weapons distributed

Hynds offered to drive two other friends home who had been out that evening - Nicholas Naughton, 23, and Robert Young.

About 0300 BST on 13 June, the group met near the Soul Suite club in Wishaw.

Prosecutor John Scullion told the court: "John Black said they were going to Cleland first as a guy there owed him £40.

"Four weapons were then distributed between the three accused and the witness, Robert Young.

"Nicholas Naughton was given a black cosh and Robert Young a crowbar, the accused John Black and Connor Hynds each had a wooden bat."

When they reached Cleland, Black pointed out Mr Gallagher as being the person who owed him money and Hynds stopped the car.

The court heard when the men got out of the car, Derek McFadyen gave £20 to Black and told him he would pay the rest for Mr Gallagher and left to get the money.

Mr Scullion said: "After the witness Derek McFadyen ran off towards Scarhill Street, the accused John Black struck the complainer twice to the head with a wooden bat causing the complainer's injuries.

"The accused later told the witness Robert Young that he struck the complainer a second time when the complainer was getting up from the ground after the first blow."

Attack claim

Black later told police he had been attacked by Mr Gallagher and his friends and had taken the weapon from Mr Gallagher and hit him with it in self-defence.

The court heard that Mr Gallagher suffered serious head injuries.

He was transferred last September to Murdostoun Castle Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit where he stays and is severely disabled mentally and physically.

Black later pleaded guilty to brandishing a weapon at Mr Gallagher, demanding money and repeatedly striking him on the head to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and impairment and danger of life.

Naughton and Hynds pleaded guilty to brandishing weapons and demanding Mr Gallagher give them money.

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