Teens beaten with sticks at Girvan cemetery

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A CARAVAN site owner and his two sons viciously attacked a group of teenagers they suspected of vandalising their property.

After a three day trial at Ayr Sheriff Court John McKechan, 55, Garreth McKechan, 29, and Kevan McKechan, 25, have been convicted of carrying out three assaults.

Craig McGeechan, 17, described how Garreth McKechan caught up with him in a Girvan cemetery near Bynehill Caravan Park and began beating him with a stick.

McGeechan said as a result of the attack he was taken to Ayr Hospital to be treated for an injury to his elbow and had his arm in a sling for two weeks.

The court heard how Steven McKinnon, 32, of Girvan, who was in the cemetery with his father laying flowers on his mother’s grave, witnessed the teenager being reduced to tears by the beating.

He said that he saw the assailant raise a stick above his head and bring it down on McGeechan, but because of the contours of the cemetery he did not see the actual contact.

However, Mr McKinnon added: “I could hear the thwack of it hitting skin - I couldn’t actually see it, but I heard the impact of wood on skin.”

He said that McGeechan was then dragged towards the entrance to the cemetery and told the court: “The boy was in tears.”

Mr McKinnon’s partner, Clara Dempster, 32, who was standing outside the graveyard, said she saw the boy being hit more than four times.

Kevan McKechan’s solicitor, Steven Maxwell, suggested to McGeechan that he and his pals - who were all 15 at the time - toppled bins at the site, threw the lids at caravans and banged on windows. He said all that happened was that one of his companions “chapped” the window of a house.

McGeechan’s two friends – Sean Nesbitt, 16, and Keiran Anderson, 17 – managed to escape from the cemetery but said that they were trapped on a nearby beach by McKechan’s father, John, 55, and brother Kevan, 25, who subjected them to vicious assaults.

Sheriff John Montgomery found Garreth McKechan guilty of assaulting McGeechan in the cemetery on April 11 2011, by seizing hold of him and repeatedly striking him on the body with a piece of wood.

His father was convicted of assaulting Nesbitt by kicking him in the face and body, pulling him to the ground and repeatedly punching him on the face and body to his injury.

Kevan McKechan was found guilty of injuring Anderson by kicking him on the body and striking him repeatedly on the body with a piece of wood. Sheriff Montgomery fined the McKechans £750 each.