Man attacked pair at bus stop


By Cara Sulieman

A THUG slashed a man who was sitting a bus stop and demanded money from him, leaving him with stitches.

John Mercer, 20, first approached his victim as he sat with a friend at a bus stop eating a take away.

After the pair refused to give him a cigarette, Mercer retrieved a glass from a nearby bin and slashed Paul Smith across the chin.

Today at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Mercer pled guilty to assaulting Mr Smith to his permanent disfigurement during the incident on August 30 this year.

The court heard that the unprovoked attack happened as the friends sat on Buccleuch Street in Dalkeith, Midlothian.

Depute fiscal Melanie Ward said: “The complainer and his friend were sitting at a bus stop eating take away food when they heard a banging noise coming from a back alley nearby.

“Moments later they saw the accused come out of the alley and approach them and ask for cigarettes.

“Both the complainer and his friend stated they didn’t have any cigarettes as they didn’t smoke.

“Accused then walked over to some wheelie bins on the opposite side of the road.

“He was seen to pick up a glass bottle and went down an alley behind the bins.

“The next thing that was heard was the sound of glass smashing.

“The accused began to walk back over to them. There was a piece of glass in the accused’s right hand.”

Mercer threatened the pair, demanding money from them.

Ms Ward said: “He said ‘give me money’. They told him to go away but he didn’t.

“At this point he wasn’t pointing the glass at them but he had it in his hand.

“He then pulled his sleeve down over the piece of glass and without provocation the accused then struck Mr Smith on the face with his hand that was holding the piece of glass.

“Mr Smith then jumped up and fended off the accused who dropped the glass.”

The police were called and Mr Smith was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where he was given three stitches on his chin.

Sheriff Mhairi Stephen deferred sentence until next month for reports and mitigation was reserved until that date.