Glasgow & West Scotland

Man guilty of assault at ex-council chief Steven Purcell's flat

A man has been convicted of punching another man during an assault at former Glasgow City Council leader Steven Purcell's flat.

Ross Henderson, 37, attacked James McLeod at the property in Merchant City in Glasgow in January 2012.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard Henderson told police he did it because he had woken up and found his trousers removed and another man touching him.

Sheriff Stuart Reid found him guilty of assault to injury and fined him £200.

The court heard the incident happened on 29 January last year.

When police officers arrived at the flat a cricket bat was lying on a sofa and Mr Purcell was described as being "unco-operative".

Self defence

Henderson admitted punching someone but told them he did not use the bat. He claimed he acted in self defence

The court was told he went to sleep and left Mr McLeod, Mr Purcell and his neighbour Neil Henry talking and drinking.

Henderson was asked by his lawyer Jim Clarke: "What caused you to waken up?"

He replied: "The removal of my trousers." Henderson said that Mr Henry was touching him and that he could hear Mr McLeod laughing.

Asked how he reacted to that, Henderson said he jumped up and punched Mr McLeod two or three times and went behind the couch to get his trousers.

Mr Clarke said to his client: "It might be put to you that you weren't trying to defend yourself you were just being violent."

Henderson told him: "No, it wasn't violence."

He was asked if he knew if the company he was in were gay and said he "had an inkling" and added it "didn't bother him in the slightest".

Blood and glass

Sgt Ryan Todd told the court that when he and his colleagues appeared at the scene after the assault, Henderson and Mr Purcell were agitated and unco-operative and questioning why they were there.

He told the court Henderson then commented that Mr Purcell was sleeping and had nothing to do with the assault.

Insp Mark Nicol told the court Mr Purcell was "very drunk" and said: "At that time Mr Purcell wasn't keen for the police to be in his flat."

He said Mr Purcell had blood on his shirt and there was broken glass and blood in the hallway and living room.

Both men were detained by police but only Henderson was charged and appeared on trial.

In evidence, Mr McLeod claimed he had been woken up by Henderson punching him and Mr Henry claimed he went into the room when he heard something and saw Mr Purcell restraining Henderson.

The sheriff said it appeared to him that Mr McLeod and Mr Henry were "not being entirely candid as to what went on that evening".

He also said he accepted the evidence of Henderson as a general context.

The sheriff cleared him of a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting and swearing and making threats.

He told Henderson it was "perhaps regarded as reasonable in the circumstances".

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