Thug launches "gratuitous" attack on man he thought had groped him


By Cara Sulieman

A THUG  launched a “gratuitous” attack on another man because he thought he had been groped by his victim earlier in the evening.

Stephen De Veres, 23, was on his way home from drinking with a friend when he spotted Tony Singh walking in front of him.

Thinking he was the same person who had grabbed his bottom in a club earlier that night, De Veres started shouting homophobic names at Mr Singh before following him up an alleyway and attacking him.

Today at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, De Veres pled guilty to assaulting Mr Singh to his injury during the incident on July 23 this year.

De Veres’ and his friend were walking up Royal Terrace in Edinburgh city centre heading for Calton Hill when they spotted Mr Singh walking in front of them at around 10.30pm.

Depute fiscal Melanie Ward told the court: “The complainer was walking in front of them and the accused started to shout words such as poof and faggot at him.

“In an attempt to get away from him, Mr Singh turned up an alley way from Royal Terrace and the accused followed him up there.

“Mr Singh turned around and asked the accused what he was doing.

“The accused pushed him and he fell to the ground. He was then kicked repeatedly on the head to his injury.”

De Veres ran off and was arrested the next day.

His defence agent said that De Veres had been drinking heavily before the incident.

He told the court: “When he was in one of the clubs he was approached by a man and he was touching his bottom.

“He asked him to go away but the man didn’t go away.

“He went on to another club. Later when he saw Mr Singh he believed him to be the man and this gave rise to the incident.

“He is not homophobic and he is in fact bisexual himself.

“He is extremely disappointed by this incident. He feels he has let himself and his family down.”

Deferring sentence until next month, Sheriff Mhairi Stephen said the attack had been “gratuitous and wanton”.