A MAN has been jailed after carrying out a “nasty assault” in Lerwick which briefly left his victim unconscious.
Marcin Olejniczak, whose address was given as Grampian Prison, appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Thursday to admit assaulting his partner on 23 April and 24 September last year.
In the first incident he struck her on the head, and in the second he repeatedly struck her on the head, rendering her unconscious, with both assaults causing injury.
The later offence was committed while the 42-year-old was on bail.
Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told the court that the couple’s relationship was on-off and “extremely volatile due to both having a chronic dependence on alcohol”.
He described Olejniczak’s offending as “almost exclusively as a consequence of his addiction to alcohol”.
In the first assault the complainer was at home with Olejniczak, who became annoyed her necessary contact with her ex-partner before striking her under the chin with the palm of his hand.
The court heard that this caused redness, and saw the upset complainer leave for another room, but she later resumed drinking again with Olejniczak.
In the later assault the pair were drinking with another person at an address in Lerwick.
Mackenzie said: “The complainer made repeated attempts to assault the third party who was within the address.”
The court heard that Olejniczak prevented her from doing so, with the complainer responding by flailing her arms at him.
“He retaliated by punching her on the face three times,” Mackenzie said – adding that this caused her to fall off the couch onto the floor, where she lay unconscious for a “brief time”.
She came round, and according to witnesses, and became “riotous”.
The third party then contacted the police, who attended and ultimately arrested the complainer. She later disclosed the two assaults to the police.
The assault caused extensive soft tissue damage, the court heard.
“I think the accused is an individual who finds it difficult to reconcile the sober man with what he does when he is in the throes of alcoholism,” Mackenzie added.
Defence agent Liam McAllister, appearing via phone, said his client was under no illusions that a custodial sentence was inevitable.
He admitted that the trio drinking together in the September incident was a “recipe for disaster”.
But he said Olejniczak, when sober, was reflective. “He does want to apologise for his conduct, [and] he is ashamed of his conduct.”
McAllister added that his client’s focus was now on an ongoing deportation issue.
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank described the later incident as a “nasty assault, and pictures I have seen show very deep bruising on the complainer’s face”.
He did note that Olejniczak had already spent around 140 days in custody on the matter.
Taking everything into account, including the time spent on remand, the sheriff gave Olejniczak a total of four months in prison from today’s date (1 April).
Sheriff Cruickshank also imposed a 12-month non-harassment order.
Space2face Shetland is an independent and confidential service which uses Restorative Justice and the arts to bring those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication. We enable everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.
The project is also currently fundraising to secure office space in Shetland’s brand-new creativity and wellness centre, The Mission. If you’re interesting in getting involved, or making a donation, head over to www.space2face.org/how-you-can-help