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Judicial CP - July 1966

Press cutting

Daily Record, Glasgow, UK, 27 July 1966

Isle of Man holiday brawl

Six of birch for weeping Scot

By 'Record' reporter

A 17-year-old Glasgow youth who attacked another holidaymaker with a bottle was BIRCHED at Douglas, Isle of Man, yesterday.

Ronald McLaren, of 581 Scotland Street, Kinning Park, broke down and sobbed in court when told he would be given six strokes.

A year ago four Glasgow youths were sentenced to nine strokes for a holiday attack in Douglas.

By coincidence, one of the victims of that attack was McLaren's brother, Andrew, 20.

Come Outside

The man who sentenced the attackers then was magistrates chairman Tom Radcliffe -- the same man who yesterday ordered Ronald McLaren to be birched and told him:

"Using a bottle is rather common where you come from, I understand, but we are not going to have it here".

McLaren, who admitted assaulting William Higham, 19, of Manchester, was also fined £15, and a further £5 for assaulting another holidaymaker.

The prosecutor said specialists were still trying to save the sight of one of Higham's eyes. He said Higham had been in a Douglas hotel with four friends and some girls when he had words with the accused after McLaren was served before him at the bar.

Five minutes later McLaren asked him to go outside. He did, with two friends.

McLaren hit him in the face with a bottle, then ran away.

Mr Barry Stanley, for McLaren, said: "He did not intend to inflict such serious injuries. He had been drinking vodka and lager and going a bit wild on holiday."

McLaren, an apprentice turner, also admitted assaulting Henry Horrocks, 18, of Lancashire, by butting him in the face in a dance hall.

Mr Radcliffe told him: "Scotsmen use their fists, not their heads".

After the case, McLaren was led weeping from the court to be birched at the police station.

Police said later: "The birching was carried out. A doctor was present and McLaren received six strokes across the buttocks."

McLaren is on holiday with friends. His widowed mother, brother John, 26, and other relatives are also on the island.

At McLaren's hotel, one of the staff said: "He and his friends arrived back here after the birching, but left again soon after."

Last year McLaren's brother Andrew came home with a black eye and bruised cheek after the Douglas attack.

His cousin, Gordon Scott, 20, of 581 Scotland Street, Kinning Park, said last night: "He didn't go back to the Isle of Man this year. He went to Spain."

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