A boy of 15 who killed a fellow pupil who accidentally hit him with a sponge ball in a school gym has been ordered to serve three and a half years detention.
The teenager - who cannot be named for legal reasons - killed Euan Craig by repeatedly punching him in the head at a Glasgow school in May.
The teenager exploded into a rage, shouting: 'What the f*** are you doing?' after Euan accidentally threw a sponge ball which struck his attacker on the side of the face.
Euan,14, who had been aiming at one of his friends before class, immediately said sorry.
But the boy walked up to him and punched him approximately five times on the side of the head, as Euan tried to back away and cover his face to block the blows.
He kept apologising, saying: 'Sorry. I didn’t mean it. It was an accident.'
A court heard how the boy walked out of the gym after the attack and Euan went to sit beside other pupils, repeating that it had been an accident.
He then slumped from the bench, suffering a seizure. A teacher tried to help him but he did not respond. Euan was taken to hospital, where doctors discovered massive bleeding in his brain, and he died the following afternoon after suffering from the freak head injury.
Today the boy was sent to a young offenders institution by judge Lord Bracadale after a hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh.
He told the teenager that he had no other option but to impose a custodial sentence on him. Lord Bracadale added: 'There is no sentence that can be imposed upon you today which can bring back Euan or can compensate the Craig family for their loss.
'You were 14 years of age when you committed this culpable homicide. 'I have come to the view that the sustained nature of the assault, the circumstances in which it was committed and the devastating consequences which flowed from it combine to indicate that, despite you age, the only appropriate disposal is a custodial one.'
The story emerged following a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow last month in which the boy pleaded guilty to a May 2012 charge of culpable homicide.
Sentence had been deferred until Thursday in order for the court to obtain reports about the young man’s character. At the earlier hearing, prosecutor John Scullion said that Euan and his attacker were in the same year at the school.
They were in the gym for separate PE classes on the morning of May 23 this year and Euan and his friends were playing with a sponge ball as they waited for a teacher. A pathologist concluded that Euan’s fatal brain haemorrhage was caused by him being struck on the left side of his face.
Mr Scullion said the blow 'need not have been hugely powerful'. But it was strong enough to cause 'a rotation of the head, with such unpredictable and devastating consequences.'
The prosecutor said Euan’s death had had 'a devastating impact' on the youngster’s family. The accused’s counsel, Ian Duguid QC, said his client had shown 'huge remorse' since the attack.
Mr Duguid added: 'He cannot remember acting in such a way before. This was an event that is entirely out of character. 'He comes from a background and a family where there are comparatively high standards of behaviour and expectations of achievement.'
The accused’s school report said he was a quiet boy whose behaviour was generally good. The court heard that he has been banned from going near the school since his first court appearance in the case in May.
Mr Duguid had urged the judge not to send the boy to a young offenders' institution, telling the court that the authors of a psychiatric report feared that his client’s mental health would suffer if he were sent into custody.
Mr Duguid added: 'There is no direct benefit to the public of placing him in custody. There would be a risk to his on going psychological development. It will impact negatively on him.
'Custody may contribute to the onset of risk factors.' Mr Duguid also said that his client was well thought of by his teachers and that inappropriate photographs that he had posted on his Facebook page did not represent what he was actually like as a person.
He also told Lord Bracadale that the death of Euan was the result of an exceptional set of circumstances. Mr Duguid added: 'These are consequences which are extraordinary.
It comes from an event which might have passed off as just another school fight. It may never have been brought to court if it were not for the tragic injury which was occasioned to him.' But Lord Bracadale told the boy that he had go to detention.