A TEENAGER has been handed “a last chance” to turn his life around by a sheriff after he pleaded guilty to throwing a vodka bottle at a British Transport Police officer’s head.

Jay Ferguson assaulted PC Mitchell Clelland by hurling the glass bottle at him, smashing it against his head, during an incident at Waverley train station in Edinburgh in March 2022.

Officers were called out to deal with an allegation of assault at the station and took hold of Ferguson, who had matched the description of the alleged attacker.

A scuffle then ensued between Ferguson and the constables, and he lashed out by throwing the bottle he was carrying, which was said to have struck PC Clelland with “extreme force”.

Following the assault, Ferguson ran off towards the Princes Street exit of the station but was traced after he made his way back to his temporary accommodation at a Travelodge hotel at the city’s Cameron Toll.

Officers arrested the teenager, currently of Constable Court in Prestonpans, four hours later at about 11.20pm on March 25, 2022.

READ MOREJay Ferguson hurled vodka bottle at police officer's head at Waverley

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told that PC Clelland was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for treatment after he had suffered severe swelling and bruising to his head.

He was also said to have suffered from a severe headache, nausea, blurred vision and memory loss following the brutal attack.

A later examination showed he had suffered an interior disc displacement within his jaw but the court was told that the officer had suffered no permanent injury.

Ferguson, 19, was also involved in a second incident with police officers three months later following a report of a disturbance at the New Horizons premises in Haddington.

Ferguson was found in his room at the non-secure unit for young people and spoken to by police at about noon on June 7, 2022.

During the conversation, he was said to have become “unhappy with the police officers and words were exchanged”.

The court was told that Ferguson then spat at PC Natalie Dalziel, striking her on the right cheek.

The teenager pleaded guilty to both assaults at Edinburgh Sheriff Court earlier this year and he was back in the dock for sentencing last Wednesday.

'Racking up convictions'

Lawyer Angela Craig, representing Ferguson, said that her client was currently being supported in the community and had an “unsettled situation” at the time of offending regarding his accommodation.

Ms Craig added that he now “accepts responsibility for his behaviour” and had not engaged with the social work report due to him “finding it difficult to express himself very well”.

Sheriff Iain Nicol told Ferguson that the social work reports stated he had “failed to appreciate the level of harm” he had caused.

The sheriff added: “You are deemed a high risk of reoffending. You are only 19 and you are racking up a number of convictions; that means if your behaviour does not change, you will be spending much of your adult life in prison.

“While the threshold for these two offences has undoubtedly been met, and I would be within my rights to send you to prison for more than a year, I do want to give you a last chance to turn your life around.”

Sheriff Nicol sentenced Ferguson to an 18-month offender’s supervision order and ordered him to wear an electronic tagging device on his ankle and to stay within his home address between 7pm and 7am each night for the next 12 months.

Ferguson pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Mitchell Clelland by throwing a glass bottle at him to his severe injury at Waverley Station, Edinburgh, on March 25, 2022.

He also admitted to assaulting PC Natalie Dalziel by spitting on her head at Florabank Road, Haddington, on June 7, 2022.