AN EAST Ayrshire pub manager has been stripped off his personal licence after assaulting a woman and a child who tried to defend her.

Andrew Dawson appeared before East Ayrshire Council’s licensing board last week.

The police reported his assault conviction to the board, sparking a review of his licence over the crime.

During a violent incident, Dawson seized a woman, pushed and pinned her on to a chair, slapped her face and shoved her against a wall on July 12. He then seized hold of a 12-year-old boy’s hair and pulled him along by it when the youngster tried to intervene.

Appealing to councillors to allow him to keep his licence, Dawson said: “I am guilty. It is my fault. There is nothing I can really say other than that.”

Dawson, who works at the Tartan Sheep in John Finnie Street, was sentenced to a community payback order of 12 months supervision at cour t in October for the offence.

Councillor Claire Leitch said the behaviour is not what the council expects from a licence holder.

She pointed out the council had been running a domestic abuse awareness campaign – 16 Days of Action – at the time of the meeting.

Councillor Leitch said she disagreed with Police Scotland’s recommendation that Dawson’s licence should just be endorsed.

Dawson, of Kilmarnock, told the board he had been attending anger management and alcohol counselling sessions. He said that during the night in question, a row broke out between him and the female victim.

Dawson said he was equally assaulted.

Councillor Ian Grant asked him: “Do you feel guilty? Are you sorry?”

Dawson replied: “I am remorseful.”

Later in the meeting as he faced more questions from politicians, he added: “I know I should lose my licence but I hope I don’t. I really love my job.”

Councillor Fiona Campbell asked him about the assault on the boy.

As he described the incident, Dawson said he “went for me” and “it sounds worse on paper.

Dawson added: “The police officers who charged me were apologetic and said they didn’t want to be doing it. They said it was their job.”

Councillors adjourned the meeting to discuss their decision in private.