Drunken attacker spared jail over assault in Galashiels flat

Overhaugh Street in Galashiels.
Overhaugh Street in Galashiels.

A drunken attacker rained 12 blows down on his victim, inflicting severe injuries, then asked police: “Did you see the belter I gave him?”

Samuel Wightman, 27, pleaded guilty to assaulting a man to his severe injury at a flat in Overhaugh Street in Galashiels on January 27 last year.

Selkirk Sheriff Court was told that the man suffered four fractures to an eye socket and one to a cheekbone and had to undergo surgery at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian.

However, sheriff David Hall said it was accepted that Wightman had been provoked and took into account that he is in full-time employment prior to deciding to offer an alternative to custody.

Wightman, of Plumtree Place in Galashiels, was issued with a community payback order involving 15 months’ supervision and 200 hours’ unpaid work, as well as being ordered to pay his victim £1,000 in compensation.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said the victim had been out with friends in Melrose before heading to Galashiels, where they came across Wightman in a pub.

Wightman and his victim left the pub and went to a nearby house and, due to both being under the influence of alcohol, a confrontation developed.

The court was told that it had been claimed that one of the victim’s friends had slept with a former partner of Wightman’s and that was what prompted the assault.

Mr Fraser said: “Twelve blows were struck and thereafter the police were called.

“The accused was spoken to by one of the police officers and said ‘I did it. I done it myself. Did you see the belter I gave him?”

Defence lawyer Mat Patrick said it was accepted there was provocation as the victim had, he said, attempted to assault his client.

However, Mr Patrick said Wightman responded by “essentially going too far”.

He explained that his client had tried to distance himself from that kind of behaviour and that the majority of his previous convictions were for road traffic matters.

Mr Patrick said Wightman had been abstaining from alcohol and is in full-time employment and providing support for his two-year-old child.

Mr Hall said it was a serious matter committed on bail, causing significant injuries, but he added it had been accepted he had been provoked during the incident.

He ordered Wightman to pay compensation at a rate of £20 a week.