27th September 2016
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Unprovoked assault

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A man was jailed for a year for carrying out an unprovoked attack that left a man unconscious and scarred last January.

Jamie Hand, 30, of Pallister Avenue in Middlesbrough, admitted the assault at a previous hearing at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie told the court on Wednesday how Hand’s victim had been walking home from a squad night out two days before Up-Helly-A’ when he became concerned that two men were following him.

“He had good reason,” said Mr MacKenzie, as Hand had run up behind him and punched him on the head with such force that it knocked him unconscious. Hand then ran off but was seen by passersby who contacted the police.

The attack happened at Bain’s Beach at the south end of Lerwick. The thug ran into a nearby hotel where police found him wandering about the floors and arrested him.

Hand claimed later to have no memory of the incident, though procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said that this was a “convenient fiction” as Hand’s alcoholic impairment was insufficient to prevent him lying to police.

The victim was treated at the scene and taken to hospital with a seven-centimetre gash down to the bone in his forehead that needed 14 stitches. It left him with permanent scarring and he also suffered cuts to his lips. The victim was kept in overnight and was off work for two weeks. He still suffers from headaches, the fiscal said.

As well as the physical injuries, the victim’s confidence had been “understandably” knocked by the attack.

Mr MacKenzie said that the attack, on a man who was a complete stranger to Hand, had been “carried out almost as some sort of perverse sport”.

Tommy Allan defending, said that Hand had made no attempt to justify the offence, for which there was no mitigation.
Sheriff Philip Mann said that previous violent incidents involving Hand had been dealt with by community disposals, but the lesson had clearly not been learned from these.

“I find it very difficult to understand this offence,” said the sheriff, who sentenced Hand to 12 months in prison, which was reduced from 16 months in view of his early guilty plea.