By Grant McCabe

A TEENAGE thug who killed a complete stranger with a single punch is facing jail.

James Crossan, 18, attacked dad-of-three Jonathan McEwan following a night out in April this year.

Mr McEwan, who was originally from Barrhead but had been living in Paisley, fell to the ground and hit his head as a result of the blow.

He died in hospital two days later, having suffered a fatal brain injury.

Crossan later discovered through social media that the 33-year-old chef had died.

He then sobbed as he told his mum: “I don't believe this.”

Crossan again wept today as he pleaded guilty to a culpable homicide charge at the High Court in Glasgow.

A judge heard how Mr McEwan's death has left his family devastated, with his mum missing a “hug” from her beloved son.

Crossan – a first offender - had his bail continued but was warned he faces being locked up when he is sentenced in December.

A number of Mr McEwan's relatives were in court to hear the circumstances of the fatal attack.

It was stated that Crossan and his victim were not known to each other but had each been out separately with friends at clubs in Paisley before ending up standing in the town's busy New Street at around 3am on April 22.

It was there that Mr McEwan allegedly gave a “nasty look” to someone with Crossan.

The court heard this prompted Crossan and a friend to confront the popular dad.

Crossan, an apprentice plumber, was initially described as approaching Mr McEwan “aggressively.”

The teenager then moved away before returning to hit his victim.

Prosecutor Iain McSporran QC explained: “He punched him to the left side of his head, causing him to fall to the ground.”

The advocate depute added that Mr McEwan then lay “motionless and obviously unconscious.”

The court was today shown CCTV footage of the attack – but the victim's distressed family left before the clip was played.

After carrying out the attack, Crossan left Mr McEwan bleeding in the street and ran home to tell his mum he had been in a fight.

The killer then learned online from friends that Mr McEwan had not survived.

Mr McSporran told the court: "He was distraught, saying 'I don't believe this – pray this boy has not died.'”

Crossan, of Rannoch Place, Paisley, contacted police himself and confessed to “striking” Mr McEwan once.

Mr McSporran told the court: “He said he had no intention of hurting him.”

The court was told the tragedy had left a “big gap” in the lives of Mr McEwan's loved ones.

In a victim impact statement, his mum said she missed a “hug” and a “blether” with her son.

Mr McEwan was also described as an "accomplished" chef, who worked at the popular Cardosi's restaurant in Paisley town centre.

John Scullion, Crossan's QC, stated his client had “acted rashly” that night and “without justification.”

He added: “He understands the devastating impact and apologies for the continued pain that he has caused.”

Lord Burns deferred sentencing for reports.

In the meantime, Crossan will remain on a curfew that means he cannot leave his home between 7pm and 7am each day.