A north-east man has been found guilty of assaulting a child in his care.
Malcolm McNaughton, 49, attacked a 12-year-old in his home earlier this year in an argument over a pair of jeans.
The youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, refused to leave the property claiming that the pair he was wearing was “too big”.
But when he was forced out the door he started saying that he wished McNaughton, a concrete pump operator from Boddam, and his wife were dead.
At yesterday’s trial at Peterhead Sheriff Court, fiscal depute Ruaridh McAllister described McNaughton as “losing the rag” in that moment and said he grabbed the youth by the throat as a result.
Following evidence from the boy involved, a pediatrician who examined his injuries the following day, and both McNaughton and his wife, Katherine, Sheriff Christine McCrossan returned a guilty verdict.
McNaughton, of Claymore Crescent, will now return to court in three months for sentencing.
Sheriff McCrossan said the period would allow him to demonstrate he could be of good behaviour.
She told him: “I think if he had been intending to make something up, he would have done so proactively.
“I got the impression [he] was telling the truth.
“And I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the offence has been proven and I find you guilty.”
The sheriff added that she got the impression during the trial that the people involved were “loving” people who had been through great difficulty.
McNaughton had maintained his innocence throughout the one-day trial.
He said he got on “great” with the boy who had been in his care that day.
The child, who gave evidence by video link, was assaulted on February 19.
He said: “[McNaughton] strangled me.
“I had marks around my neck.
“I said I wasn’t going to leave the house because I had jeans that were too big. He threw me outside then took me back in and grabbed me by the neck.
“Someone saw the marks on my neck – a support worker – and she told the office. Then the police got involved.”
A doctor who examined the boy following the attack said bruising around his neck was consistent with his claim.