Former Aith resident faces long stretch in jail after savagely beating drinking pal

An insulation engineer from Falkirk is facing a long jail sentence after beating a drinking buddy so savagely he can no longer breathe properly and suffers psychological problems.

Thomas Bain, 30, formerly of Whitelaw Road, Aith, only broke off from his attack in Lerwick’s Hangcliff Lane last August for a breather before wading in once again with his feet and fists. Police were shocked by the state of his victim when they saw him.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie told the court Bain had been living in the lanes area at the time of the attack. That day he sat alone at home and drank a case of beer, Bacardi Breezers and a bottle of wine before going to a house nearby where people were having a party.

At about 4am he and his victim, who he knew to see, went with a third man to get more drink from a house, which they intended taking to Bain’s to drink. The trio were in good humour on the walk to Bain’s until a difference of opinion developed. It quickly escalated out of control with Bain becoming so angry his victim decided to back away, causing him to fall over.

Mr MacKenzie said that was the trigger for “a protracted, sustained and targeted attack”. When he stopped to catch his breath his victim was heard by nearby residents to plead with him to stop, trying to placate him with the offer of cigarettes. But Bain ignored the gesture and carried on battering the man until exhausted and then he walked off.

His victim called the police but managed to walk to the station. Mr MacKenzie said officers were taken aback by his appearance with his face and hands covered in blood and swollen. He spent three days in hospital in Lerwick before later having to go to Aberdeen for operations on a broken nose and cheekbone, which still require further operations.

The court heard he may never be able to breathe properly again through his right nostril and his balance is affected. He is being counselled for post-traumatic stress and has become introverted and anxious.

“This is a case where the injuries sustained by him can accurately be described as life-changing,” Mr MacKenzie said. “It’s unlikely he will ever be the same man he was before this incident.”

Bain was arrested the night after the attack as he boozed in a town centre pub. At the police station he denied all knowledge of the assault. He was bailed from the court on 31st August with the special condition that he not approach or contact his victim. However, he appeared in court from custody and was taken into private chambers in connection with an alleged breach of his bail. The new matter will be considered when he is sentenced for the assault on 24th February.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said the assault was due to Bain’s consumption of alcohol which he had since taken steps to tackle, having not had a drink of any sort since November.

Sheriff Graeme Napier said the only way he could deal with such a sustained and unprovoked violent attack was with a significant period in custody. Because he is facing jail for the first time a social inquiry report has to be compiled before the sheriff can sentence him. Community service and restriction of liberty reports will also be included.


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