Angus bar brawler faces jail

Brass Scales of Justice
Brass Scales of Justice

A Forfar man who battered a £10 million lottery winner in a bar room brawl was today (Friday) facing jail.

John Bowman, who scooped the huge National Lottery jackpot last April, was attacked by Marshall Baer at Forfar’s Burns Bar on Sunday, January 8.

Baer first assaulted Kirsty Skinner by pushing her in the bar

He then turned his attention to Bowman - grabbing him and pulling him to the ground before punching him on the head.

An allegation that Baer repeatedly kicked Mr Bowman on the head during the attack was deleted from the charge by the Crown.

Baer pleaded guilty on the day of his trial having at an earlier hearing claimed he was acting in self defence.

But the 61-year-old, of Archies Park, dropped that claim today and pleaded guilty to two charges of assault at Forfar Sheriff Court.

He had his not guilty plea to an allegation that he assaulted former partner Janette Fyfe by pushing her, causing her to strike her head on a wall, accepted by the Crown.

He also had not guilty pleas accepted to behaving in a threatening and abusive manner during the bar incident and driving without due care or attention on the Dunnichen road between Forfar and Letham, Angus, driving at excessive speed, losing control at an s-bend, striking a pillar and causing the vehicle to overturn damaging the vehicle and the pillar and injuring himself.

Defence solicitor Craig Scott told the court that Baer was now pleading guilty to the two charges on summary complaint.

He said: “I had hoped to discuss the possibility of dealing with this matter today.”

However, Sheriff Kevin Veal said he required a social work background report before the case could be dealt with - meaning Baer could face up to a year in jail or given a community-based sentence when he appears again in April.

Sheriff Veal said: “I will adjourn for a criminal justice social work report.

“I note from his previous convictions that he has two for assault - albeit one was dealt with by a fiscal fine.

“The court requires a report.”

The court will hear the full circumstances of the case at the later sentencing hearing.

Baer refused to comment on the case as he left court.

Mr Bowman had attended to give evidence at the trial but left the building while the plea hearing was ongoing without making comment.

The father-of-two - also known as Jake - scooped a £10.3m jackpot on the National Lottery last April.