An Angus dad who knocked another man unconscious with a baseball bat in a drinking session “stramash” has avoided a prison sentence.
Steven Hadden, from Arbroath, was told his previous record could have merited a spell behind bars after admitting a severe assault and permanent disfigurement charge involving a man who he had been drinking with earlier that day.
Hadden, 37, of Warddykes Road, will carry out 240 hours of unpaid work and be subject to a three-year supervision requirement as well as alcohol and anger management counselling after admitting the assault outside his home address on August 23 last year.
The court previously heard Hadden had been drinking in various Arbroath pubs and then returned home to drink with others.
Around 2.15am, police received an anonymous call relating to a complaint of two men fighting and the court narrative indicated that the victim had been on the stairwell when Hadden emerged from his house with the bat and struck him with it.
Witnesses heard the victim tell his son: “Tell the police if I drop dead or go unconscious that it was Steve who hit me on the head with a baseball bat.”
Police arrived and found the victim face down and unconscious, bleeding heavily from a significant open head wound.
When the victim regained consciousness he then became aggressive towards police.
He sustained a seven centimetre laceration and it was stapled at hospital, but he refused further treatment.
Defence solicitor Nick Whelan said his client feared going to jail, but recognised his liberty was at risk because of previous offences.
He said all the parties had been drinking heavily and the row was sparked over a fall-out with a girlfriend.
“The victim is a very well built man and his understanding was that he was someone with a reputation for violence,” said Mr Whelan.
“He did not set out to attack this man, the baseball bat was at the front door and he picked it up quickly.
“He thought presenting it at him would be enough to scare him off but it wasn’t, and when the man lashed out at him he also lashed out.”
Sheriff Pino Di Emidio told Hadden: “I am persuaded there is sufficient material before the court to allow me to deal with this by way of a community payback order.”