A Perth prison officer was knocked unconscious during a flare-up between two inmates.
Keith MacKessack was left scarred for life after being thrown to the floor by violent con Steven Ross.
The guard blacked out for several seconds, while colleagues restrained his attacker.
Ross, 32, appeared at Perth Sheriff Court and admitted the assault in the prison’s C-Hall on March 15, 2019.
The court heard the incident began with a dispute between Ross and his cellmate Jack Elms.
Inmates ‘needed to be separated’
Fiscal depute Michael Sweeney said Ross had a history of violent offending.
“The accused was a convicted prisoner within HMP Perth, serving a sentence of two years and nine months,” he said.
“At about 11.05am, prison officer Grant Hamilton was informed that a cell intercom had been activated by the occupants of cell C1-13.
“One of the occupants stated that they needed to be separated, as both were going to start fighting soon.”
Mr Hamilton went to the cell and unlocked the door.
“He saw the accused and another prisoner Jack Elms,” said Mr Sweeney.
“Mr Elms said he needed to get out of the cell. At this time, he then punched the accused to the face.
“Mr Hamilton then took a hold of prisoner Elms and pulled him out of the cell, in an attempt to defuse the situation.
“At that point, prison officer Keith MacKessack came running down the landing to assist Mr Hamilton.
“As he approached, the accused grabbed Mr MacKessack and threw him to the floor.
“This caused his head to hit the ground, knocking him unconscious for a short time.”
Mr Sweeney said: “Other prison officers then attended and helped to restrain the accused.”
The court heard that Mr MacKessack was left with a 5cm laceration to the back of his head. “This has resulted in a scar,” said Mr Sweeney.
Time to stop ‘raging against the machine’
Ross, of Lomond Court, Alloa, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr MacKessack to his injyr and severe injury by seizing him by the body and throwing him to the ground, causing him to strike his head, rendering him unconscious.
Prosecutors accepted a not guilty plea to a second charge of assaulting Mr Hamilton.
Sheriff Paul Brown deferred sentence until March 14 for background reports.
Ross was jailed in February 2021 for spitting in a police officer’s face.
He has previously served time for dangerous driving.
At a court appearance in 2017, his solicitor Paul Sweeney said: “He has had an issue with police since growing up, and one would advice him it’s time to stop raging against the machine as far as that is concerned.”