Homeless man jailed for knocking attempted robber unconscious with champagne bottle

The man was approached at the entrance to Charing Cross railway station
-Credit: (Image: Google Maps)


A homeless man who knocked an attempted robber unconscious with a champagne bottle was today (Friday) jailed for four years.

Barry Whiteman, 37, admitted repeatedly smashing the bottle over the head of the 21-year-old man at Elmbank Gardens on December 26, 2019, to the danger of his life.

The attack took place at 5am after the victim apparently attempted to rob Whiteman who was sleeping rough in a tent.

Judge Lord Armstrong ordered Whiteman to be monitored in the community for three years after his release from prison.

Lord Armstrong told Whiteman: “You acted spontaneously. At 5am you had been subjected to an attempted robbery by the man you assaulted. The manner is which you reacted was excessive. His injuries at your hands were potentially life-threatening.”

Prosecutor Euan Cameron said: “At the time the accused was sleeping in a tent near to the entrance of Charing Cross railway station. The victim was staying in a nearby hotel and staff there saw him leave and walk in the direction of the railway station.”

The court heard that he kicked the side of Whiteman's tent and began shouting: “Give me your f***ing money' at him.

A security guard working nearby shouted at him to leave Whiteman alone. At this point Whiteman struck the man four times on the back of the head with a champagne bottle, causing him to fall to the ground.

Whiteman then shouted: “That's what you get for trying to rob a homeless guy.”

He then struck him a further six times with the bottle, leaving him lying unconscious on the ground.

When he regained consciousness Whiteman helped him back to his hotel.

The victim was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary and treated for cuts to his scalp and fractures to his skull.

Mr Cameron said: “His injuries were serious and posed a potential danger to life. He remained in hospital until January 6.

“He has been left with ongoing headaches as a result of the injuries inflicted on him.”

Defence QC Iain McSporran said: “Mr Whiteman says the bottle was brought by the complainer who told police he wanted to 'bam up' a homeless guy.

“There is no way Mr Whiteman was justified in what he did or that the complainer deserved what he got.

“After the attack he got help.”