Samaritan could lose eye after bid to save woman

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A GOOD Samaritan who thought he was stopping a woman from being assaulted was punched with such force that doctors fear he’s going blind, a court has heard.

Ujjwal Dhakal intervened when he saw John Harvey, 21, sitting on top of his partner in Edinburgh’s South St David Street in October last year.

Mr Dhakal decided to get involved as he thought Harvey was hitting the woman.

But Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard on Tuesday that Harvey was actually trying to stop his lover from attacking another woman.

When he was approached by the well-intentioned man, Harvey punched Mr Dhakal and struck him with such force that the man’s glasses came into contact with one of his eyes.

Mr Dhakal was so seriously injured by the blow that surgeons now believe they will have to operate to remove the eye.

When Harvey was arrested by the police he showed no remorse, and told officers: “I only hit him once. I hope he has a sore face.”

Harvey, of Fraser Avenue, Edinburgh, pleaded guilty before Sheriff James Scott to a charge of assaulting Mr Dhakal to his severe injury last October .

The court heard how Harvey’s girlfriend had got into an argument with another woman on South St David Street.

Harvey had no other option but to intervene – but passers-by thought he was actually battering the woman, whose identity wasn’t revealed in court.

When Mr Dhakal intervened, Harvey lashed out causing him to suffer a severe optical injury.

Depute fiscal John Kirk told the court: “The injury was so bad that the initial examination was carried out under general anaesthetic.

“The upshot of the injury is that the complainer can no longer distinguish between light and dark.

“There are concerns that there is no longer any function in the eye.

“There is unlikely to be any improvement. There is a possibility that the eye will also have to be removed.”

Mr Kirk also told the court that when Harvey was arrested shortly after the mindless attack, he told police that he wasn’t sorry for hitting the defenceless man.

Sheriff Scott deferred sentence on the first offender until March 1, in order for the court to obtain reports.