Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Thug fractured victim’s eye socket

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A man suffered a fractured eye socket when he was attacked while on an unpaid community work scheme.

Coatbridge offender Martin Russo was convicted last week of assaulting another male to his severe injury and permanent impairment.

It happened at the Restorativ­e Justice Systems building in Bellshill in October 2019.

Russo, 33, of the town’s Main Street, denied the charge, but the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict after trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

The court heard the victim was punched twice to the side of his head after an argument.

He rejected a claim that he had been the aggressor and had thrown a table at the accused.

Russo, who represente­d himself, claimed the victim had then fallen over and injured himself.

He told the witness: “If you sow a bad seed you reap bad fruit.”

Russo also alleged he had been bullied on the community work scheme.

He claimed to be “a law-abiding civil servant”, but after the guilty verdict it emerged he has two previous conviction­s for acts of violence. He has also been convicted of threatenin­g or abusive behaviour.

Sheriff Alasdair Macfadyen deferred sentence until next month for a criminal justice social work report and an electronic tagging assessment.

Russo was allowed to remain on bail in the meantime.

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