29th September 2016
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Man responsible for ‘horrific’ attack is spared jail

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A man who almost bit his assault victim’s nose off and gouged at his eyes in a “sustained” and “horrific” attack has been spared a prison sentence.

Grant Harries has instead been ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work within one year.

Harries, 26, of Browns Road, Lerwick, must also wear a tag which will restrict his movements.

Sentence at Lerwick Sheriff Court was previously deferred for reports after Harries acted like a “wild animal” during an assault on a night out at the Lerwick Boating Club.

He admitted biting the man’s face causing severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

He knocked the man to the ground and repeatedly punched him to the head, before gouging at his eyes.

The victim required five stitches and suffered blood-shot eyes and scratches as a result of the gouging.

Harries had been warned to expect a prison sentence for his crime.

But in court today, defence agent Tommy Allan said Harries felt shame and guilt for what he had done.

The solicitor added that Harries had made the decision himself to own up to the offence and tender a plea of guilty, albeit one with deletions.

“It is clear his remorse is genuine and extensive.”

The court heard that, since the offence happened on 6th September last year, Harries had become a father.

He had also suffered the tragic loss of his step-father in sudden circumstances. Mr Allan said Harries had got married at the weekend – “something which was no doubt overshadowed by his bereavement and his appearance in court today”.

Mr Allan also submitted two references which, he said, “point to somebody clearly well thought of by his employer”.

“There are a number of people close to him who would be quite badly affected if he was to receive a custodial sentence. I would submit there is enough for you to stop short of imposing a custodial sentence.”

Sheriff Philip Mann told Harries: “There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that this offence could amply be visited with a custodial sentence. It was a sustained and, in many ways, horrific attack on somebody who has been left with permanent disfigurement from a severe injury inflicted upon him.

“I have to say, having given this matter considerable and anxious consideration, I have come to the view that there is enough in the social enquiry report, and in other circumstances, to indicate to me that a custodial sentence is not the only option in this case.”

Harries restriction of liberty order means he must not set foot out of his home between 7pm and 7am for six months.

“If you breach this order and are brought back to court I would struggle to see how I would deal with you other than by imposing a custodial sentence,” the sheriff warned.