A GRANDAD and his daughter, who alleged they had been attacked in Irvine town centre, feel let down by the justice system – after the accused walked free when not guilty pleas were accepted in a deal.

The man in his seventies and his 30-year-old daughter say they have got no justice after charges were dropped against Kilwinning man Connor McKnight, 26, who it was alleged assaulted them in Irvine High Street last year.

It was alleged McKnight assaulted the man by punching him on the head to his injury while in Irvine High Street back in October 23, last year.

He faced another charge of spitting at a woman, attempting to punch her on the head and body repeatedly, and punching her on the head to her injury.

An indictment also alleged he repeatedly shouted and swore, made threats of violence before then spitting on and kicking a vehicle, kicking a door while allegedly gesturing that he had a weapon.

However, McKnight, 26, walked free from court this month after admitting to three charges of assaulting police which left an officer needing tested for coronavirus when he appeared from custody.

The complainers, who wished to remain anonymous, hit out after the sentence.

She said: “I am disgusted that this coward has got these charges dropped for getting a deal in pleading to charges that was a completely separate incident to ours.

“He’s a thug and his offences show this. I feel let down by the justice system on this matter.”

A spokesperson for Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service: “Prosecutors have a duty to consider pleas offered by the defence, taking into consideration all the facts, circumstances and available evidence at that time.

“We cannot comment on the detailed considerations of prosecutors in accepting pleas in individual cases.”

We reported this month how McKnight admitted three charge s of assaulting police and was given a community payback order, a tag for four months and has to complete drug and alcohol treatment.

McKnight’s defence solicitor Paul Kavanagh told the court: “He is aware that, especially charge six in a pandemic, this may attract a custody sentence.

“He is no stranger to court and has spent time in custody in the past. He had a difficult upbringing and had difficulties with literacy and numeracy and cannot read or write. At the age of 13 he was placed in local authority care. He had no real support from family – this led to problems in the past with heroin and Valium, mostly the latter.

“There are alternatives to imprisonment – you’ll note he is clearly remorseful. He is hopeful to live a lawful life – he has the motivation and he wants to have the ability.”

Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane said: “I appreciate you had not a great start but you can go on and let that define you or grasp the opportunity I’m about to give you.

“It’s up to you I can’t force you, you make the choices. The last thing you need when you leave here is Valium or I’ll see you on Monday.”