At­tacker jailed for two years

Vic­tim’s skull dam­aged

Hamilton Advertiser - - NEWS - Court re­porter

An at­tacker whose sin­gle punch led to “dev­as­tat­ing” in­juries for the vic­tim has been jailed for two years.

Dad-of-two Peter Christie can re­mem­ber noth­ing about a cel­e­bra­tory night out which ended with him be­ing rushed to hos­pi­tal with a brain in­jury.

Hamil­ton Sher­iff Court heard that the 46-year-old man­u­fac­tur­ing and busi­ness man­ager banged his head when he fell to the ground af­ter one punch from Steven Brown out­side a house in Merry Street, Mother­well, in July last year.

It caused dam­age per­fo­rated eardrum.

Mr Christie, who was in hos­pi­tal for three weeks, added: “I’m now a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son. I don’t so­cialise with any­one.

“I was rea­son­ably fit and went to the gym, but that has all stopped. I strug­gle to hear and I’m on anti-de­pres­sants.”

Brown (37), of Wood Cres­cent, Mother­well, de­nied as­sault to se­vere in­jury, per­ma­nent im­pair­ment and the dan­ger of his life, but the jury re­turned a ma­jor­ity guilty ver­dict.

The court heard trou­ble flared in the street out­side the home of Mr Christie’s mother-in­law who had been hav­ing a birth­day party.

Brown, co-ac­cused Fraser Moss and oth­ers turned up at the house.

Moss (39), of Jervis­ton Street, Mother­well, was look­ing for his sis­ter-in-law.

He was found guilty of as­sault­ing an­other to his skull and a par­ty­goer, Christo­pher Ni­chol­son, who was punched and kicked re­peat­edly on the head while on the ground.

El­speth For­rest, de­fend­ing Brown, pointed out that the dad-of-one has only a sin­gle pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion.

She told the court: “He does not have a propen­sity for vi­o­lence. This was not a sus­tained at­tack. He re­acted to an in­ci­dent and his vi­o­lence was min­i­mal, but it’s had tragic con­se­quences for both him and the vic­tim.

“He’s a fam­ily man with a quiet de­meanour who works fairly hard and there are al­ter­na­tives to cus­tody dis­cussed in the so­cial work re­port.”

Diarmid Bruce, rep­re­sent­ing Moss, said his client is serv­ing an 18-month sen­tence for a drugs of­fence and was due for re­lease on Oc­to­ber 23.

He ar­gued that the fa­ther-of-seven could be spared jail, point­ing out that his two pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for as­sault were back in 2006.

How­ever, Sher­iff Thomas Mil­lar said prison was “in­evitable” for both men.

He told Brown: “This was a force­ful punch which had dev­as­tat­ing, life-chang­ing con­se­quences and the jury re­jected your claims of self-de­fence and provo­ca­tion.”

Sen­tenc­ing Moss, the sher­iff said: “The jury made did not ac­cept your ver­sion of events that the Crown wit­nesses were the ag­gres­sors. These peo­ple were sim­ply en­joy­ing a party then you ar­rived.”

Moss was jailed for a year, to start when his cur­rent stretch ends.

Work is un­der way af­ter peo­ple com­plained. Our story, right 031018bol­lards_01

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