A TEENAGER who was left for dead after being repeatedly beaten by a man he tried to help said his traumatic ordeal would make him think twice about helping others.
Good Samaritan Angus Gallagher was walking home from a night out with friends in Gorebridge when he saw Brian Ramsay lying on his back in a petrol station forecourt.
The 18-year-old helped Ramsay to his feet, took him to the shop to get some food and helped him across the road when the man suddenly turned on him, subjecting him to a brutal and sustained assault in the street before dragging him to a nearby house in St Andrews Way where he attacked him again.
Police were called by a neighbour and found Angus lying unconscious in the street.
He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with 13 cranial fractures, three broken fingers, fractured ribs and a damaged ear drum after the October 26 attack.
He also suffered such bad damage to his right eye that he had to have a titanium plate implanted behind his eyebrow.
Fighting back tears as he spoke to the Evening News, Angus said: “He just turned on me. My mind went a bit blank and all I thought was ‘I should protect myself as much as I can’. He must have realised what he had done because he dragged me to his house to get me cleaned up.
“Then he hit me again in the garden and I have no recollection after that.”
Angus, who is the youngest of three boys, woke up in a hospital bed where he stayed for a day before being transferred to St John’s Hospital, in Livingston, for a further five days.
He said: “I was really confused when I woke up. I couldn’t open my eyes as they were swollen shut.”
Angus was unable to go back to his job restoring classic cars until January 19 while he recovered from his injuries.
The attack has also left him scared to go out alone at night, and when he does he is always looking over his shoulder.
Angus, of Newtongrange, said: “It has changed everything. You get all paranoid. I try to avoid going out on my own at night now.
“It would definitely make me think twice about helping somebody now.”
Ramsay, 25, was sentenced to 18 months in prison by Edinburgh Sherriff Court yesterday after admitting the assault.
But Angus and his parents have criticised the light sentence, which has been backdated to October 27 when Ramsay was initially remanded in custody.
His parents Amanda, 53, and Henry, 56, branded the sentence as “disgusting” and called for better treatment of victims.
Mrs Gallagher said: “My husband and I are totally shocked and think it’s disgusting. I don’t know the definition of a long time but 18 months doesn’t seem to be very long. It’s not justice. He was only helping someone and this was his reward.”
When police came to their door in the middle of the night, Mrs Gallagher said she thought Angus was dead.
“When we were taken to the resuscitation unit where Angus was, my husband couldn’t walk through the door,” she said.
“He just gripped my arm and said ‘My god, what have they done to my boy’. I couldn’t recognise him. His head was about five times the size it should have been. He was covered in blood.
“The police photographer who came along said she had never seen such damage before in her life. That’s why we are so upset with what we heard in court.”
Their frustration was echoed by Councillor Cameron Rose, a former police officer, who said more should be done to help victims.
Cllr Rose said: “I don’t know the exact details of this case, but the serious injuries inflicted on this man suggest the sentence may not give confidence in the justice system to the public.”