A sheriff has ordered an electronic tag report on an Angus man who fractured his victim’s skull and eye socket – warning the attacker he is “not off the hook” over the prospect of going behind bars.
Kieran Morris carried out two assaults in Forfar after a day of drinking to mark his 22nd birthday descended into drunken violence on September 16.
Morris, formerly of Forfar and now living in Scotswood Terrace, Dundee, had become concerned about his girlfriend when he returned to the town centre after going home to change, and it was while he was looking for her that the two assaults occurred, the town’s sheriff court heard.
The first attack outside the Old Masons pub involved a single punch, but his victim fell to the ground and knocked his head on the pavement.
Several days after the incident, the man continued to suffer from headaches and was sleeping excessively, said depute fiscal Stewart Duncan.
A CT scan was carried out and the fiscal said it revealed a subdural haemorrhage and cerebral contusions, along with a fracture of the skull and a slight fracture of the right eye socket.
Morris was picked up by police after a second scuffle outside the town’s Royal nightclub, with both incidents being captured on CCTV.
Defence solicitor Craig Scott said the accused was now employed in Dundee and had a “good work ethic”.
He had been out all day, went home to change and then returned to discover his girlfriend wasn’t there and he instantly panicked,” said Mr Scott.
“The injuries sustained by the first complainer are not insignificant and he does not seek to minimise that.
“He has two jobs and there is an alternative to imprisonment, although there is no doubt that custody will be at the forefront of the court’s mind,” he added.
Sheriff Kevin Veal said: “It’s really a touch and go situation whether the accused goes to custody or not, but I am prepared to stay my hand to allow his new address to be checked out for a Restriction of Liberty Order.
“I have no doubt that if he was to abstain completely from drinking he would not come back to court.
“He has a conviction for drink-driving so he was effectively given a yellow warning a couple of years ago and yet he behaves at a grossly excessive level whereby one person was seriously injured.
“When he is not drinking he poses no problems at all.
Morris will return for sentence in a fortnight.
“He is far from off the hook,” added the sheriff.