A fisherman who assaulted a fellow crewman and bit his cheek has been jailed for eight months.
Aberdeen prisoner Mark Davison, 44, was described as being like an animal holding on to its prey when the attack took place on board the King Explorer in waters 30 miles south of Scalloway.
Appearing from custody Davison admitted repeatedly punching the man on the head, and biting him on the face, all to his injury. He was described by sheriff Philip Mann as a “violent and dangerous individual”.
Lerwick Sheriff Court was today told Davison carried out the “clearly appalling assault” when a younger, but more experienced, member of crew started giving new recruit Davison instructions on his job.
But when he was told to clear off by the skipper, he bit the complainer on the cheek and refused to let go.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said two other crew members struggled to prize Davison away from his victim, with the bite lasting between 10 and 20 seconds.
“That may not seem like a long time, but when you’ve got someone attached to your cheek in the way an animal might hold onto its prey, it must feel like an eternity.”
Puncture marks caused by the bite were found in the victim’s face.
The wound had to be cleaned and the younger man was prescribed anti-viral drugs to combat any risk of infection of HIV or Hepatitis B.
Mr MacKenzie said a blood sample was taken from the victim, but a second one will also be required to help rule out infection.
“There doesn’t appear to be any risk of that nature, but clearly it’s a concerning time for the complainer,” he told the court.
Challenged by police, Davison declared: “It’s not true. I’m the one with the black eye”.
Defence agent Tommy Allan said Davison had realised he was the only British member among a crew of Polish fishermen.
He said Davison felt isolated and subject to some “animosity”.
Mr Allan added Davison was realistic about the likelihood of a custodial sentence, but stressed Davison had been in custody since 9th October when he had appeared in the dock.
He said Davison was keen to “build some bridges” with his children in Plymouth.
“He said he was really sorry. He shouldn’t have reacted in the way that he did, and that this shouldn’t have happened.”
Sheriff Mann told Davison: “This is an appalling attack and, in some ways, looking at your record I’m not surprised you’re capable of doing something like this.”
Adding Davison was a “violent and dangerous individual”, he said his behaviour displayed “a considerable degree of childishness.”
“It looks to me like you have failed to grow up and grasp the realities of adult life and the need to get on with people.”
Davison’s prison term was backdated to 9th October, when he was taken into custody.