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Assault could have had ‘catastrophic consequences’

AN OFFSHORE worker from Aberdeenshire who punched a work colleague to the ground in the centre of Lerwick after a drunken misunderstanding has been fined £1,500.

David Dalziel, of Teal Street, Ellon, admitted at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday to assaulting the man at the Esplanade on 6 April last year.

The 37 year old punched him on the head, thereby knocking him to the ground and rendering him unconscious to his injury.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Dalziel was out with the complainer and the man’s partner before they left a pub.

The victim and the woman walked in front of Dalziel, but he mistook a “wholly innocent gesture” made by the complainer to his partner as something more sinister.

He then involved himself and assaulted the man, who was unconscious for a “very brief moment” and suffered a minor cut.

Mackenzie said the injuries could have been a lot worse. “When people resort to violence they lose all control of the consequences,” he said.

Defence agent Gregor Kelly said his client was staying in Shetland at the Sumburgh Hotel on business and decided to go out in Lerwick that night with workmates.

The solicitor said Dalziel thought he saw the woman’s face being “grabbed” before remonstrating with the man.

Kelly said the offshore worker made the first punch because he was afraid of having his kidney area injured, where he had a transplant two years prior, and added that it was an “isolated incident”.

Sheriff Philip Mann said he could have sent Dalziel to prison due to his criminal record, but he took into account his full-time employment and the financial support he gives to his family.

“The procurator fiscal is quite right when he suggests that this kind of drunken behaviour can result in catastrophic consequences,” he added.