Glasgow & West Scotland

Teenager jailed for single-punch killing after night out

James Crossan Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption James Crossan had never met his victim before the fatal attack

A teenager who killed a stranger with a single punch has been jailed for three years and four months.

James Crossan, 18, attacked father-of-three Jonathan McEwan in a Paisley street following a night out in the Renfrewshire town in April.

Mr McEwan, 33, suffered a fatal brain injury in the unprovoked assault.

Crossan was ordered to be detained having earlier pled guilty to a culpable homicide charge at the High Court in Glasgow .

His QC had asked for the apprentice plumber not to be put behind bars.

'Grave nature'

But judge Lord Burns said the killing was a "homicide of a grave nature" with "terrible consequences".

The judge added that the violence was "unprovoked and unnecessary".

He told Crossan: "Jonathan McEwan was a hard-working man who took pride in his family and his career.

"You have cut short his life. His family will have to live with the consequences of your conduct for the rest of their lives."

Crossan and Mr McEwan, who worked as a chef, were not known to each other and had been out separately with friends at clubs in Paisley.

Image copyright Police Scotland/Google
Image caption Mr McEwan died from a brain injury after the attack in Paisley's New Street

They both ended up standing in the town's busy New Street in the early hours of 22 April.

Mr McEwan allegedly gave a "nasty look" to someone who was with Crossan.

The court heard this "prompted" Crossan and a friend to confront him.

Crossan was initially described as approaching Mr McEwan "aggressively".

The teenager then moved away before returning to hit his victim.

Prosecutor Iain McSporran QC said: "He punched him to the left side of his head causing him to fall to the ground."

The advocate depute said Mr McEwan then lay "motionless and obviously unconscious".

Confessed to police

Crossan ran home to tell his mother he had been in a fight and later learned online from friends that Mr McEwan had not survived.

Crossan contacted police himself and confessed to "striking" Mr McEwan once.

Mr McEwan died two days after the attack, in hospital having suffered a fatal brain injury.

John Scullion, defending, said Crossan's recollection of the night "is incomplete due to the amount of alcohol he took".

The judge told Crossan the sentence had been reduced from five years due to his guilty plea.

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