A schoolboy from North Lanarkshire who killed a man with a single punch has been spared a custodial sentence after a judge called the case “exceptional”.
The 15-year-old landed a blow on Jack Wilson, 20, who fell to the ground and failed to get up after the attack on 14 October last year.
The one-punch incident happened at an area near Keir Hardie Avenue in Holytown. The victim died in hospital two days later. The teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had received a phone call from his distressed girlfriend claiming Mr Wilson had kissed and touched her and she ran away, but thought he was following her.
A judge told the schoolboy – at an Edinburgh High Court hearing closed to the public – that she had decided justice was served by imposing a community sentence on him.
Lady Scott told the teenager she would pass a community payback order on him, with a two-and-a-half-year offender supervision requirement.
She told him: “I am satisfied you had no intention to cause such serious injury.”
The judge said in sentencing she had to take into account first and foremost that he was a child still only aged 15.
Lady Scott said she also took account of his immaturity at the time of the fatal attack. She said: “The violence involved was minimal.”
She added: “Your victim was 20 years old and he had his whole life ahead of him.”
Lady Scott said it was clear from background information she had received that the teen was generally of good character, but had also suffered tragic family circumstances.
She said the boy had also expressed “profound remorse” for the crime and accepted full responsibility for his conduct.
The teen struck the victim with one punch and aimed a kick at him.
The victim was taken to Wishaw General Hospital, but a CT scan revealed extensive bleeding to both sides of his brain.
He was transferred to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow where he underwent emergency neurosurgery. He died at the hospital on 16 October. The cause of death was head injury
The boy told his parents he had hit an older boy with a single punch and the “guy never got up”.
His father later went to the scene at his request and told a police officer his son was the person responsible for the assault.