Man left needing stitches after being headbutted having tried to intervene in row between wife and brother-in-law

A man was assaulted as he tried to calm a row between his wife and her brother.

Scott McKirdle headbutted Martin Lamont who needed six stitches in a cut to his forehead.

McKirdle made matters worse for himself by failing to attend court for trial, delaying the case for nearly three years.

The 40-year-old finally appeared from custody at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Friday.

He admitted assaulting Mr Lamont at a house in Wood Crescent, Motherwell, on April 20, 2019, and failing to attend court on February 25, 2021.

John Coogan, prosecuting, said the attack followed a 50th birthday party in a pub.

He told the court: "Afterwards people returned to the house in Wood Crescent.

"About 7am the accused became involved in an argument with his sister.

"Mr Lamont placed himself between them and the accused proceeded to headbutt him.

"The police were contacted and Mr Lamont was taken to hospital.

"The laceration to his forehead will leave a relatively small scar."

McKirdle was arrested and bailed.

He was working in England but it was agreed that he would return for the court case in February 2021.

A jury was put in place but he failed to turn up at court.

Defence agent Margaret Chalmers said the two men get on well and the victim felt the situation had been "blown out of proportion".

She added: "It would appear there are very strong family bonds.

"My client wishes to apologise, particularly for causing the difficulties at court."

Sheriff Linda Nicolson said McKirdle's behaviour toward his brother in law had been "unacceptable".

On top of that, he had caused inconvenience to witnesses and jurors, and financial cost to the court.

The sheriff added: "You have a significant record so the only appropriate sentence is one of custody."

McKirdle was jailed for 14 months but the sentence was backdated to April 17 as he has been in custody since then.

That meant, with early release rules, he was likely to be freed immediately.

Anyone with any information in relation to any crime should contact police on 101.