Glasgow & West Scotland

Convicted killer Andrew Ralston admits dog fouling attack

A convicted killer has admitted attacking a man in South Lanarkshire after he complained about dog fouling.

Andrew Ralston assaulted 50-year-old William Crichton with his own walking stick in Larkhall on 18 December 2011.

The 30-year-old originally faced an attempted murder charge but pleaded guilty to assault to severe injury.

Sentence at the High Court in Glasgow was deferred. Ralston was previously jailed for four years for culpable homicide over a fatal attack in 2001.

The court heard that Mr Crichton became annoyed when he saw Ralston's dog fouling his garden and said he was tired of this happening.

Ralston shouted back and asked what he was going to do about it.

Fractured arm

He then took the walking stick from Mr Crichton before attacking him with it.

He repeatedly struck Mr Crichton on the head, limbs and body while shouting that he was going to kill him.

A witnesses saw Mr Crichton lie prone on the ground and Ralston hit him at least 15 times with the walking stick.

The victim sustained four cuts to the top of his head, a fracture to his right forearm and bruising to his knees and wrists.

He suffered pain and mobility problems for some time after the attack.

It later emerged that Ralston served four years in detention after being convicted of culpable homicide in 2001.

Ralston and others intervened when Sandy Ralton, 19, poured vodka over his girlfriend and threatened to set her on fire.

Mr Ralton died from a blow with a baseball bat, which burst an artery in his neck.

Robert Cunningham, 37, from Larkhall, Lanarkshire, who wielded the bat, was jailed for five years after he admitted culpable homicide.

Ralston, then 19, was jailed after lashing out at Mr Ralton with a hammer after mistaking a mobile phone on his belt for a knife.

Deferring sentence on Ralston, who is in custody, judge Lady Scott said: "What concerns me, although there is a 10-year gap, is that here we have an offence which shows a lack of control."

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