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Bain jailed for violent assault

AN INSULATION engineer who lost control and attacked a drinking associate so badly he needed reconstructive facial surgery was jailed for almost two years at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday.

Earlier this month Thomas Bain, formerly of 5 Whitelaw Road, admitted assaulting the man to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and impairment during the early hours of 29 August last year.

The attack took place in Lerwick’s Hangcliff Lane after a day and night of heavy drinking. The 30 year old father of two lost his temper and went berserk, repeatedly punching and kicking his victim in the head and body.

He broke off the assault to catch his breath but even though his victim begged for mercy and offered him cigarettes, he launched back into the fray. The man was left badly bruised with a fractured nose and cheekbone.

He was sent to Aberdeen for surgery after three days in hospital in Lerwick, but has been badly damaged psychologically by the incident, and now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.

On Thursday Bain also admitted breaching his bail conditions by twice phoning his victim, who was in Lerwick’s Wheel Bar, the day before his previous court appearance on 9 February.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said: “It is no exaggeration to say that this complainer was extremely alarmed to be receiving contact from this man.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Bain realised he had been stupid to call the man and had not sought to influence his court hearing, but had wanted to speak about a matter involving their ex partners.

Mr Allan added that at the time of the assault Bain was suffering from “a severe alcohol problem” and once he had sobered up he had been “mortified” about what he had done.

However the lawyer said his client had not touched alcohol since November when he attended his grandmother’s funeral.

He added that Bain realised he was repeating the mistakes of his alcoholic father, who had recently sponsored him to join Alcoholics Anonymous. He had also spent five years without drinking in the past.

Mr Allan said that Bain had been offered work and would be happy to go on probation, but Sheriff Graeme Napier said that the assault was so serious he had no choice but to jail him for 22 months, including six months for breaching bail.

The sheriff said: “This was a sustained assault despite the complainer’s pleas for you to desist. It was resumed after a break and you callously went to the pub afterwards. The assault itself used punching and kicking to the head of such significance that I could not have dealt with this by anything other than a custodial sentence.”