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3 years in jail for fracturing friend’s cheekbone

A THIRTY two year old man has been jailed for three years after admitting to drunkenly punching a friend so hard that he required cheekbone surgery.

Damien Hunt, of Grampian Prison, admitted to assaulting the man and punching him on the head to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement. The incident occurred at North a Voe, Camb in Yell on the 8th of May this year.

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Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told Lerwick Sheriff Court on Tuesday that the men had been on a night out with other friends when Hunt fell out with a mutual female acquaintance.

The victim was trying to play peacemaker when Hunt “simply lashed out” with a punch that had “quite devastating effects”.

He was able to make his own way home, but had significant swelling when he woke up the next morning and attended the Gilbert Bain Hospital.

He was quickly transferred to Aberdeen for surgery to reconstruct his cheekbone, leaving him with a 4cm scar on his left cheek and an altered jawline.

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Mackenzie did acknowledge that, over the course of a “lengthy, somewhat rambling” police interview, Hunt had expressed “genuine regret” about the injury he had caused. While the victim was in hospital, Hunt sent him Facebook messages apologising.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Hunt was a “young man with a troubled history”. He was previously jailed for over four years in August 2011 for a severe assault that caused permanent impairment to the victim.

Allan said his client has recovered from his addiction to drugs in recent years, but the amount of drink involved in this incident had left him with “no clear recollection of what happened”.

Hunt was genuinely sorry and hopes he has not lost a friend as a result.

Sheriff Philip Mann described the attack as a “spectacular, though not entirely unexpected, loss of control”. 

He jailed Hunt for three years, reduced from four years to reflect his early plea, with the sentence backdated to 17 May.

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