TWO robbery accused Greenock men who had been charged with targeting and attacking a takeaway delivery driver after dark have walked free from the sheriff court.

James Harkins and Andrew Duffy - who were both captured on CCTV in the vicinity of where the victim was set upon by two men - were acquitted by a jury following a three-day trial.

The court was told that Mr Duffy's mobile phone had been used to order food from the takeaway the victim worked for on the night he was attacked.

However, the man - who was left bloodied and shaken following the incident at an address on Fore Street in Port Glasgow - said he couldn't be sure of the identities of his attackers.

Mr Harkins, 46, and Mr Duffy, 42, had been charged with repeatedly punching him on the head and body on January 23 last year.

It was alleged that they also pushed him on the body, grabbed his clothing and placed their hands inside his pockets, before stealing cash and food from him.

A workmate of the victim told the court: “His nose was kind of busted up. He was bleeding from his head.

“His voice was shaky and his whole body was really shaking.”

Greenock Telegraph:

The jury heard that the driver had done several deliveries already that night and was sent to a flat on Fore Street with an order sometime before 9pm.

Fiscal depute Maria Murdoch said the victim was ‘led’ into the building before a ‘planned attack’.

The delivery driver described being punched by a man at the door of the property as he tried to hand over the order, before having coins and ‘maybe some notes’ taken from his pockets.

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The court heard that one attacker was wearing a black hoodie with the hood up, with a second perpetrator wearing a bright jumper.

Greenock Telegraph:

Jurors heard that the man was left ‘shaken’ by the incident and immediately returned to his workplace where colleagues contacted police.

Officers attended the scene later that night and Mr Harkins, of Crawford Street in Greenock, and Mr Duffy, of the town's Cathcart Street, were arrested on suspicion of the robbery.

In his statement, the victim told police that the hooded attacker’s face was partially covered.

He said: “I didn’t know if it was a mask or part of the hoodie.”

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The man was shown images of males at Greenock Police Office and told officers he ‘recognised’ Mr Duffy’s photo, but was ‘not sure if it was him because it was hard to see his face’.

Mr Duffy’s lawyer Colin Neilson said: “You couldn’t be sure?”

The man said: “Not 100 per cent sure. I recognised him from his eyes.”

Mr Harkins’ lawyer, Jordanna Blockley, questioned the description given of the other man involved in the incident – a man in his ‘late 30s or maybe 40’ - and whether it matched her client.

Ms Blockley said: “I don’t mean to be uncharitable to Mr Harkins, but he is not a man in his late 30s.

“You would describe this man as late 30s or maybe 40?”

The witness replied: “Yes.”

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The court was shown CCTV footage of Mr Harkins and Mr Duffy walking down Fore Street at 9:10pm on the date of the incident, and further video evidence of them returning at 9:37pm – prior to police arriving at the property.

A police witness told jurors that Duffy made reference to ‘ordering a takeaway’ when he arrived at Helen Street police station in Govan later that night.

The officer also noted that the phone number which was used to contact the takeaway was rung, and the mobile phone attached to it was on Duffy’s person.

In her closing statement to the jury, Ms Murdoch said: “The complainer positively identified them as the persons who carried out the attack on him.

“He could not be swayed from the position that the two men sitting in the dock assaulted him.”

The jury of eight men and seven women deliberated for around an hour before reaching a unanimous not proven verdict.