A HOMELESS man had his two front teeth kicked out when he was attacked by a Cockenzie couple.

Karen Cosgrove and Stephen McKinnon, both of North Lorimer Place, assaulted the homeless man outside Edinburgh’s St James Centre following an argument.

McKinnon was seen chasing the man behind the well-known shopping centre before pulling him to the ground.

McKinnon then repeatedly punched the man to the head before Cosgrove joined in the attack and kicked the man to the head as he lay on the ground.

The homeless man was rushed to hospital and then a dental hospital for treatment to his face and had his two front upper teeth reattached during surgery.

Cosgrove, 38, and 36-year-old McKinnon admitted their guilt to an amended assault charge at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Tuesday.

Fiscal depute Naomi Warner told the court that the incident took place outside the back entrance to the John Lewis store and opposite the Omni Centre on July 12 last year.

Ms Warner said: “The accused McKinnon and the complainer appeared to be involved in an argument and the accused was seen pursuing the complainer towards the back entrance of John Lewis around 5.15pm.

“At that time, a female witness with a young daughter saw McKinnon arguing with the complainer.

“She thought to intervene; however, as she tried to do that the accused repeatedly swung at him and punched him on the head. He then aimed a knee kick to the body and grabbed him and pulled him on to the ground, where he landed on the road.

“McKinnon got on top of him and repeatedly punched him on the head. The accused Cosgrove then got involved and proceeded to kick him on the head as he lay on the ground.”

Ms Warner added that a male road worker managed to intervene and separate them.

The fiscal said that the victim suffered the loss of two front teeth and also soreness and stiffness to the face. He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and told he must attend a dental hospital for treatment to his mouth injuries.

Ms Warner said that the victim and the couple had been involved in “an earlier altercation” with each other and that the man was “a 45-year-old homeless individual”.

Sheriff Frank Crowe deferred sentence for reports and a Restriction of Liberty assessment to be prepared.

Cosgrove appeared from custody for last week’s court hearing, while co-accused McKinnon was granted bail but was told he must stay away from the victim until he is sentenced later this month.