Man jailed for punching father-of-one underneath wheels of a train
A VIOLENT thug who punched a man so he landed under the wheels of a moving train was yesterday jailed for five years for attempted murder.
• Man punched father-of-one after altercation at Coatbridge Sunnyside railway station
• Victim caught leg on metal under train and was dragged along tracks for few hundred yards
• Attacker also punched victim’s wife to the ground
The High Court in Glasgow heard that after being struck by 40-year-old Justin McDonald, Philip Gault fell between the edge of the platform and a train.
The 33-year-old father of one, whose right leg caught on the metal under the train, was dragged along the tracks for a few hundred yards and said he thought he was going to die.
His wife Lee was then punched to the ground by McDonald, who walked away.
All three had been on board the last train from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and got off at Coatbridge Sunnyside station where there was an altercation following an incident on the train.
The judge, Lord Tyre, told McDonald, a father of three: “You were convicted of the attempted murder of Philip Gault and the assault of his wife Lee.
“When Mr Gault and his wife were walking away from you, you assaulted him to such an extent that he fell off the platform as the train was moving off.
“It is deplorable that you did nothing to help him or raise the alert once you realised what had happened to him. It is very fortunate you are not in this court facing a charge of murder.
During his trial, McDonald denied attempting to murder Mr Gault at the station on 13 August last year. He claimed he was acting in self defence after being punched and head-butted.
However, the jury convicted McDonald of punching Mr Gault on the head causing him to fall off the station platform. McDonald was also found guilty of punching Mr Gault’s wife when she remonstrated with him, and knocking her unconscious.
Defence advocate Derick Nelson said McDonald was genuinely remorseful and had written a letter to the Gaults.
Mr Nelson said: “He wants me to express how sorry he is. He shudders to think what the effect on their young family could have been if Mr Gault had died in the incident.”
Mr Gault, a taxi driver from Glasgow, and his wife had spent the day in Edinburgh with friends and were returning home on the last train.
He said that while on the train he had been approached by McDonald who saw him drinking a can of lager and demanded one.
Mr Gault added: “The accused said: ‘Give me that ******* can of lager.’. I just said no.”
Mr Gault said he remembered becoming wedged between the train and a wall. He said: “I was scared. My right leg had attached itself to the train in some way as if my trousers had ripped. I couldn’t get my leg off what it was impaled on.
“I thought I was going to die. As the train picked up speed, I could feel my head banging off the ground. I don’t remember how I became detached from the train.”
Mr Gault spent four days in hospital, had to wear a knee brace and crutches, and it was six weeks before he could return to work.
He suffered tattoo-like scarring to his back, buttocks and left arm and leg.
The ligaments in his left knee were damaged and his shoulder was dislocated.
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