Jan 25 2013 by Colin Rutherford, Kilmarnock Standard
A man who innocently boarded a bus in Kilmarnock was detained against his will and attacked by two drunks who had been celebrating an 18th birthday.
Kyle McLean, 18, of Springside Terrace, Irvine, and Darren Fifer, 20, of Kirkland Terrace, Springside, pleaded guilty at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court this week to carrying out the assault last March.
The court was told that the assault victim, in his 30s, boarded the bus around 7pm and took a seat on the top deck, immediately in front of the two accused.
After the pair began a conversation with him, he decided to leave and sit downstairs.
But McLean and Fifer refused to let him go, pushing him back into the seat before launching an attack on him.
The two punched the man and McLean also kicked him on the head and body.
The assault was witnessed by the bus driver through the vehicle’s CCTV system.
The driver stopped the bus and flagged down a passing police van.
McLean and Fifer tried to make off, but were caught.
Their victim suffered swelling and bruising to his face and head.
Alec Muir, representing McLean, said that his client had been celebrating his 18th birthday.
“He had far too much to drink and got into an argument with this man on the bus,” he said.
Mr Muir said that McLean had shown “some remorse and some victim empathy”.
Brian Holliman, for Fifer, said that the conversation on the bus had started out as high spirits but had “escalated into this unsavoury incident”.
Both lawyers asked Sheriff Iona McDonald to consider imposing community payback orders with the conditions of unpaid work.
But the sheriff said that the only appropriate behaviour was a custodial sentence.
She told McLean and Fifer: “You enter into conversation with this man and, when he tries to leave, you refuse to let him go. You make it worse by then punching him and attacking him.
“Goodness knows what would have happened if the bus driver had not spotted the police van.”
Sheriff McDonald described the attack as “pack behaviour” and “outrageous”.
She jailed McLean for a year and sentenced Fifer, who also admitted breaching a bail curfew on the same occasion, to a total of 19 months detention.