30th September 2016
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Three years jail for man who permanently injured victim

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A man who assaulted and disfigured another man by punching him in the face so hard he had to have his cheekbone reconstructed has been imprisoned for three years.

Damian Hunt, 32, appeared from custody on Tuesday, to be sentenced for assaulting his victim at Kirkabister, North-a-Voe in Yell on 8th May. Hunt admitted punching the man on the head to his disfigurement.

It was the second time Hunt, a prisoner at HMP Grampian, has been jailed for assault to disfigurement. He was imprisoned for 57 months in 2011 for his part in assaulting a man who was left “permanently impaired” after being kicked and stamped on.

The court heard that Hunt’s latest attack took place when he was drinking with friends and he fell out with one of the women in the party. When the complainer tried to calm everyone down Hunt lashed out at the unsuspecting man.

The punch had “quite devastating effects”, according to procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie, resulting in a serious fracture of the cheekbone.

“The complainer was not being at all aggressive and was not expecting that to happen,” Mr MacKenzie said.

After the attack the victim made his own way home and woke up the next morning with a swollen face. He was taken to the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick, then hospital in Aberdeen where his cheekbone was reconstructed with the result that his jaw line has been altered and he has been left with a four centimetre scar as a result of the surgery.

Mr MacKenzie said there was “no doubt” Hunt regretted what he had done and sent a Facebook message to his victim while he was in hospital.

“He does appear to have genuine regret at this significant injury he has caused,” the fiscal said.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Hunt had a troubled history and much of his offending was due to drugs, but he had tried hard to change. Drink was involved in the latest attack and he had no clear recollection of what took place.

Hunt had gained employment, something that was not easy “because of his reputation”, while his parents both had significant medical difficulties and Hunt was unhappy about that.

Mr Allan said a custodial sentence would not be difficult for Hunt and he had already spent about four months in custody.

Sentencing, Sheriff Philip Mann said that he accepted Hunt’s regret for the incident but he had shown a “spectacular if not unexpected loss of control. The fact is that loss of control has ended with another individual injured and disfigured.”

The sheriff added that with regard to Hunt’s serious and extensive record, he could not see any alternative but a custodial sentence and imprisoned him for three years, backdated to 17th May and reduced from four years to reflect his early plea.