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Fife man left with flattened face and dropped eye after brutal battering by childhood friend

Neil Proctor
Neil Proctor.

A Fife man who brutally attacked his childhood friend has been jailed for 26 months.

Neil Proctor left Michael Christie severely injured in the relentless assault.

When he arrived at hospital, his eye had dropped, his jaw was out of place and he had bruising on his brain.

He now permanently wears an eyepatch.

The attack happened because Mr Christie had tried to borrow some clothes from his former friend.

Up to 20 blows to head

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard Mr Christie had tried on a jacket and a pair of trainers belonging to Proctor after an afternoon of drinking and taking Valium together on January 27 last year.

When he tried to leave Proctor’s home, still wearing the clothing, the 44-year-old became violent.

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, Fife
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

Fiscal depute Claire Bremner said Proctor punched Mr Christie to the left side of the face and then took hold of his clothing.

Mr Christie was then punched repeatedly and fell to the ground.

While on the floor, Proctor delivered a further 10 to 20 blows to his friend’s head.

“The complainer managed to escape,” Ms Bremner said.

Horrific injuries

At 4.45pm, Mr Christie visited his mother’s home.

He was unable to speak due to the facial injuries he sustained.

His mother contacted police and paramedics and Mr Christie was taken to Victoria Hospital.

He was still struggling to speak due to the swelling and was drifting in and out of consciousness.

Medical staff were reported to be “concerned.”

He suffered significant bruising to the left side of his face from his left eyebrow to his jaw.

He also had a lack of movement in his left eye.

Mr Christie’s jaw was in an abnormal position and this was inspected under general anaesthetic.

Victoria Hospital.

He also received a CT scan which revealed cerebral contusion.

Medical staff found Mr Christie had a fractured left eye socket.

On February 2, his injuries were reviewed.

Mr Christie’s eye was seen to have dropped significantly and his face had been flattened.

As a result of the attack, Mr Christie now requires an eyepatch due to the constant watering and double vision in his left eye.

The court heard he also struggles with balance.

Blood on knuckles

When police traced Proctor, he had blood on his knuckles.

He told them: “It must be Michael’s because it’s on my hand.”

His solicitor Eilidh Grant explained since the attack, Proctor had been seeking help for his addiction.

You delivered in excess of 20 blows to a man who was unable to defend himself.”

— Sheriff James Williamson

She explained Proctor sells designer clothing to friends.

“Mr Proctor admits this is a very nasty and serious assault.

“He did show genuine remorse for the injuries he had caused on the complainer.

“It seems this happened when Mr Proctor was highly under the influence of Valium.

“He has taken significant steps to address his drug addictions.

“This incident seems to be a one-off for Mr Proctor.

“It’s his own submission that this incident and his ability to hurt somebody else scared him significantly.”

Prison only option

Mr Christie was left severely injured, permanently impaired and permanently disfigured.

Proctor, of Earn Road in Kirkcaldy, admitted assault.

Sheriff James Williamson said there was no alternative to custody.

He told Proctor: “Had this been an assault with one or two blows, I might have been persuaded.

“You delivered in excess of 20 blows to a man who was unable to defend himself.”

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