A deputy head teacher broke a man’s leg as he rained blows on him outside a bar after travelling with a colleague to take part in an international volleyball tournament in Tayside.
Keith Chaplin, 35, was told he was lucky to avoid being sent to prison after the attack which has left his teaching career hanging in the balance.
Chaplin – who continued beating his victim as he lay helpless on the ground – was ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to severely injured Michael Diver, 45.
The senior teacher, who was in charge of the anti-bullying project at Calderglen High Scholl in East Kilbride, was also ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work in the community.
Chaplin, who started teaching PE in 2007, had travelled to Perth with colleague Gregg Harvey on May 24 last year for an annual volleyball tournament based at Bell’s Sports Centre. They had gone out drinking and were in The Half Moon bar where Mr Diver was a regular.
Depute fiscal Lisa Marshall told Perth Sheriff Court the mood changed and Chaplin followed Mr Diver out of the pub and launched his vicious attack.
She said: “The bar manager saw the accused and his friend at the bar and noticed the accused being noisy and swearing. They remonstrated with the accused for his language.”
Chaplin walked behind the bar and tried to take a picture with the barmaid as a “souvenir” of his visit but was told to return to the public area.
“Following this, the accused’s attitude changed,” Mrs Marshall said. “The barmaid saw the accused standing in close proximity to the complainer’s face and it seemed heated.
“The accused was standing near him as if to intimidate him. He was refused drink due to his increasing intoxication.
“At 8.15pm the complainer left for a cigarette and, shortly after, the accused and his friend left. The barmaid then saw the complainer with his hands up, ostensibly saying ‘don’t do this to me.’
“The accused was then seen pushing the complainer, before punching him to the head, causing him to fall to the ground. He punched the complainer repeatedly to the head.”
A female witness stepped in to prevent Chaplin landing any more blows and his colleague pulled him away before they both left the area.
Mr Diver was taken to Perth Royal Infirmary where his injuries included a broken leg.
Mrs Marshall said the victim was left with a cast on his leg for five weeks and was absent from work for an extended period as he recovered from his injuries.
Chaplin, of Calderstone Drive, Cumbernauld, admitted assaulting Mr Diver to his severe injury.
The Crown accepted his not guilty plea to a second charge of threatening or abusive behaviour.
Solicitor Paul Coyle, defending, said: “He completed drug and alcohol awareness diplomas earlier this year. He no longer drinks.
“He can’t claim self-defence or provocation.”
Mr Coyle said Chaplin’s “immediate superiors” at the East Kilbride school were supportive of him but he still faced a further inquiry by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
Sheriff William Wood told the father of two: “It is by the narrowest of margins that I am not going to send you to prison. You are a good person who has done something very bad.”