A DRUNKEN thug who attacked a 14-year-old schoolboy after downing too much booze at a party has been warned he is facing a prison sentence.
Grant Finnegan, 23, assaulted the youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, during an incident in Arthurlie Street, Barrhead.
The teenage victim was left injured after Finnegan repeatedly slapped him and punched him on the head.
Finnegan had been to a party and, after leaving in a drunken state, he stopped and spoke to the schoolboy outside a local community hall shortly after midnight.
Paisley Sheriff Court heard that the teenager was tall for his age and Finnegan mistakenly believed he too had attended the party.
He asked the youngster if he had any tobacco for a cigarette but things then turned ugly and the attack took place.
The court heard how staff monitoring CCTV cameras which cover the Arthurlie Street area witnessed the incident and alerted the police, who went to the scene and found the schoolboy in a distressed state.
Due to the force of the blows delivered by Finnegan, the boy had hit the front of head on a wall, leaving his face grazed and his lip swollen.
The victim was crying when officers went to see how he was.
Police later traced Finnegan to a house in Waulkmill Avenue, Barrhead, where he was arrested.
Defence agent Bob Mitchell told the court his client had been held on remand since his arrest and that had meant he had been unable to start a college course which he had lined up.
The lawyer added that on the night in question – July 9, this year – Finnegan had drank to excess and had now come to realise that he and alcohol “didn’t mix”.
Mr Mitchell stressed that the accused did not know his victim was just 14 years old and, when he discovered the boy’s age, he was “deeply ashamed”.
It was stated that Finnegan had felt so bad about his actions that he’d written a letter of apology which, he hoped, would be passed on to the boy.
“He has a clear intention never again to get himself into that state,” said Mr Mitchell.
The court was told that Finnegan was on licence at the time of the offence, having been released early from a previous jail term, and could face being recalled to prison if it was felt that would be appropriate.
Sheriff Susan Sinclair deferred sentence until Tuesday, November 1, for background reports to be compiled and stressed that all options remained open.