Paisley teen who killed stranger with one punch jailed for three years

A teenage thug who killed a stranger with a single punch has been locked up for three years and four months.

The trail took place at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: TSPL
The trail took place at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: TSPL

James Crossan, 18, attacked Jonathan McEwan following a night out in Paisley, Renfrewshire in April this year.

Tragic father Jonathan, 33 – described as a “popular” chef – suffered a fatal head injury.

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Crossan yesterday returned to the High Court in Glasgow having earlier pled guilty to a culpable homicide charge. His QC asked for the apprentice plumber not to be put behind bars.

But, Lord Burns said the killing was a “homicide of a grave nature” with “terrible consequences”.

The case has echoes of the recent killing of Edinburgh father Shaun Woodburn who died after being struck by a single punch last Hogmanany in Leith. Woodburn’s mother Denise Syme slammed the sentence.

She said: “It’s just not long enough, you’re taking away a life. It doesn’t matter if you meant to it the minute you punch somebody you could kill them and that’s what people need to know. I know sometimes it can happen in defence and some people get long sentences for defending themselves by punching somebody and killing them but they all need to be looked on their own merit. I just think the sentences are far too short for this.”

Lord Burns said of Crossan - “violence was unprovoked and un-necessary”.

He added: “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.”

First offender Crossan showed no emotion as he was led to the cells.

However, a number of his supporters in court burst into tears with shouts of “love you” and “stay strong”.

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Dad-of-three Jonathan and Crossan were not known to one another.

They had each been out separately with friends at clubs in Paisley before ending up standing in the town’s busy New Street around 3am on April 22. Jonathan allegedly gave a “nasty look” to someone with Crossan.

The court heard this “prompted” Crossan and a friend to confront the father. The teen then moved away before returning to hit his victim. The judge told Crossan sentence was reduced from five years due to the guilty plea.