An Angus drinker who broke another man’s jaw with a single punch in a street attack has been ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.
Damien Bell was part of a group in Arbroath’s West Port who got involved in a shouting match with a couple across the street and even found himself being confronted by a shoe-wielding woman.
But the 22-year-old responded by charging across the street to hit his victim from behind, sending him to the ground with a fracture which required surgery two days later.
Depute fiscal Stewart Duncan told Forfar sheriff court Bell had been with a group who had been drinking in local pubs before they decided to head to the town’s De Vitos nightclub.
On Keptie Street they became involved with the man and his partner, who exchanged insults.
The court was told the victim went on to the nightclub after the attack, but later suffered severe pain and when he went to a local medical centre was sent for an x-ray which revealed a clear fracture.
Bell, of Meadowside, Montrose admitted a summary complaint of assaulting the man on July 17 to his severe injury, having initially appeared on petition in relation to the attack.
Defence solicitor Michael Boyd said: “By way of background, and not to minimise his part, he consumed more alcohol than he should have.
“His behaviour was boisterous. The complainer’s partner took off her shoe and went over the street at Mr Bell and the complainer effectively encouraged her in that,” added Mr Boyd.
“It was one punch. He does have a previous conviction for assault which was five years ago, for which he was admonished and compensation was imposed.”
Sheriff Pino Do Emidio told Bell: “You have pled guilty to an assault which albeit involved only a single punch but had very serious consequences for the man you attacked.
“It is perhaps fortunate that you find yourself on summary complaint. I can deal with this other than by means of imprisonment but I consider this to be a matter of very considerable seriousness.”