Vic­tim left scarred for life after vi­cious at­tack

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page - RON MOORE

A tanked- up welder bat­tered a drinker over the head with a metal bar in a sav­age pub at­tack.

Sa­muel Han­nah, 59, whipped out a steel cosh from his sleeve and smashed it into the face and head of vic­tim Ernest Craig who was

sit­ting drink­ing at the bar in the Key­stone Pub at Hous­ton Square, John­stone.

Pais­ley Sher­iff Court was shown graphic CCTV footage of the in­ci­dent where Han­nah struck Mr Craig with such force, that the vic­tim’s pint shat­tered into his face.

Mr Craig slumped for­ward in his chair as the at­tacker con­tin­ued to rain blows on his head, un­til he was knocked un­con­scious onto the floor where he lay bleed­ing from wounds to his nose, head and hand.

The court was shown footage where brave drinkers jumped in to help save the vic­tim and they also came un­der at­tack from Han­nah, who con­tin­ued to swing the metal bar at them.

How­ever, he was even­tu­ally over­pow­ered after a fu­ri­ous strug­gle and held down on the floor, while wit­nesses at­tended to Mr Craig.

De­scrib­ing the at­tack, Fis­cal de­pute Keri Marshall said: “The ac­cused had the weapon in his right hand and he struck Mr Craig in face smash­ing the pint Mr Craig was hold­ing.

“The sec­ond and third strikes hit Mr Craig in the face and the fourth struck the back of Mr Craig’s head at which point Mr Craig slumped off his chair and on to the floor.

“He ap­peared to be un­con­scious and re­mains mo­tion­less on the floor.”

She said wit­nesses ,who were play­ing pool, ran over and pre­vented the ac­cused from “any fur­ther ac­tion.”

After a fierce strug­gle, they held the ac­cused down on the floor.

Han­nah, of Dim­ity Street, John­stone, pleaded guilty to a charge of as­sault­ing Mr Craig by strik­ing him with a metal bar caus­ing a glass to break in his face, and re­peat­edly strik­ing him with a metal bar all to his se­vere in­jury and per­ma­nent dis­fig­ure­ment.

The court heard was left with a two-anda-half inch lac­er­a­tion to his nose, which has left a per­ma­nent scar and needed six stitches to seal.

He was also left with a one-inch lac­er­a­tion to the back of his head, which was sta­pled by medics, and a cut to his hand, caused by the pint glass he was drink­ing from shat­ter­ing, which needed but­ter­fly stitches.

De­fence agent Rhona Lynch said there was very lit­tle she could say by way of ex­pla­na­tion for the at­tack.

She ex­plained: “There is noth­ing I can say at this stage, by way of mit­i­ga­tion, which can ex­plain or give any back­ground on this very se­ri­ous as­sault.

“Mr Han­nah has searched his soul over the last few months, try­ing to work out why he be­haved in the way he did, other than be­ing heav­ily un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol.

“He has worked con­stantly through his life, he is a time served welder and has worked in the oil in­dus­try for the past six years and, in ad­di­tion, works week­ends on the rail­ways.

“This ap­pears to be com­pletely out of char­ac­ter.

“On the evening in ques­tion he was drink­ing with his wife and she left to go home for the evening.

“He was drink­ing Dram­buie and has a very lim­ited and sketchy rec­ol­lec­tion of events.

“He was lit­er­ally hang­ing his head in shame in the dock as the CCTV was played.”

Sher­iff Tom Mc­Cart­ney who called for back­ground re­ports to be pre­pared ahead of sen­tenc­ing, warned Han­nah he faces jail.

He said: “The sever­ity of this as­sault is such that it is very hard to see there can be any al­ter­na­tive to prison that would be ap­pro­pri­ate, and you should be aware of that.

“But I will make no de­ci­sion in re­spect of that un­til I have read the re­ports I have or­dered.”

Han­nah will dis­cover his fate when ap­pears for sen­tenc­ing on Fe­bru­ary 5.

Jail warn­ingSa­muel Han­nah

ThugSa­muel Han­nah

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