Nineteen year old Connor Dalziel of Lammermuir Crescent, Dunbar, had pled guilty previously at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to assaulting Daryl Fraser to his severe injury in the High Street, Dunbar, on October 19 last year. Sentence had been deferred until today for background reports.
Fiscal Depute, Aidan Higgins, said Dalziel, who was 18 at the time, had been in the company of Mr Fraser and others during Friday the 18th. By the early evening it became apparent that Dalziel was very drunk. The Fiscal said the group were worried about Dalziel and he was taken home. In the early hours of the Saturday morning, however, Mr Fraser saw Dalziel in the High Street again.
“It seemed he had been indulging in further drink” said Mr Higgins. “He was agitated and upset and looked like he was looking for a fight”. When Mr Fraser tried to calm him down, Dalziel smashed a glass he was holding against a wall. Mr Fraser tried to restrain him and Dalziel swung out the hand that was holding the broken glass, hitting Mr Fraser behind the right ear causing significant bleeding. Others restrained Dalziel and the police and ambulance were called.
Mr Fraser was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where pieces of glass were removed from the wound on his neck and three stitches inserted.
Defence solicitor, Angela Craig, told Sheriff Gordon Liddle that Dalziel was now in full-time employment, training to be a chef. He was in a relationship and there was a young son.
“He is now showing a maturity and dealing with issues such as drink” she said and added: “He did not attempt to put the blame on anyone else”.
Sheriff Liddle said the Social Work report seemed to indicate that Dalziel was attempting to minimise the attack by suggesting he just happened to have the glass in his hand at the time.
“He is clearly trying to distance himself from what happened”.
Ms Craig added that Dalziel had been in no further trouble for the past year.
Sheriff Liddle told Dalziel that a custodial sentence would be entirely appropriate, but the question was what would be the best result for society.
“Perhaps on a temporary basis you will escape that today” he said “but I have to say I am by no means confident. You and I will be in a relationship for the next 12 months and I warn you that if you come back before me I have given you a lifeline, a chance, and you can expect a custodial sentence. This is on Indictment and the limit is five years and don’t you think for a moment I would not use it”.
The Sheriff ordered Dalziel to complete 220 hours of unpaid work in the 12 month period, to be under supervision and take part in alcohol counselling and anger management, and to pay Mr Fraser £500 compensation at the rate of £50 a month.