A former Royal Marine who turned to drugs when his life took a turn for the worse attacked a fellow drug user with a metal pole.
Mark McLaughlin, 31, who suffers from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, believed his victim had stolen £700 from him while they were taking drugs together.
He assaulted him with a pole wrapped in fabric in a homeless unit in Dunfermline, where they were both living.
McLaughlin, now staying at the Rosendael Scottish Veteran’s Residence in Broughty Ferry, admitted assaulting and robbing Brian Connelly of his mobile phone at James Bank Hostel on October 23 last year.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard that after being discharged from the armed forces in 2006 McLaughlin had worked abroad as a private security officer before returning to the UK and working at Rosyth Dockyard.
However, he was devastated to split up with a girlfriend he had been with for three years and his life went downhill.
His solicitor Joe Mooney said McLaughlin suddenly found himself in homeless accommodation and said: “As he put it, it was as low as he had fallen.”
Mr Mooney said: “He had never taken drugs before, he started taking drugs and he took drugs with Mr Connelly.”
However, he said McLaughlin had since stopped taking drugs and hoped to start further education next year.
Sheriff Grant McCulloch said no one knew whether Mr Connelly, who suffered cut to his hand in the incident, had taken the money or not.
He told McLaughlin: “In any event, you went into his room when he was lying on his bed, you took a weapon with you and you used it, fortunately not to great extent, but the fact is you caused injury to him with that weapon.”
A report was requested before McLaughlin is sentenced on July 9.