Bathgate nightclub thug left victim out cold with bleeding on the brain on the dance-floor

Livingston Sheriff CourtLivingston Sheriff Court
Livingston Sheriff Court
A drunken thug who seriously injured a complete stranger with a single punch to the head has been jailed for 16 months.

Nicky Carson calmly walked out of the Envi nightclub in Bathgate after carrying out the unprovoked attack, leaving James Taylor lying unconscious on the dance floor.

Mr Taylor suffered bleeding on the brain, further bleeding between his skull and his scalp and a fractured eye socket, Livingston Sheriff Court was told.

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He was rushed to hospital by ambulance to be treated for the serious head injuries and detained for observation for 48 hours.

Carson, 29, a prisoner at HMP Addiewel, pled guilty to punching Mr Taylor to his severe injury causing him to fall and strike his head on the ground.

Rebecca Swansey, prosecuting, said Mr Taylor had been at a charity event with his sister earlier that evening and had both arrived at the club shortly before 1am.

Around 2.30am his sister became aware of a male lying on the floor. People gathered round and on closer inspection she realised it was her brother.

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Miss Swansey said: “He appeared to be unconscious with blood coming from his nose and mouth and the left hand side of his face swollen.

“He was placed in the recovery position but was drifting in and out of consciousness.”

She said the accused and his victim had not known each other before the assault.

The motiveless attack was captured on the club’s CCTV, which allowed police to identify and trace Carson.

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Andy Aitken, defending, said Carson tended to turn to alcohol at difficult times in his life and in drink he was unable to control his emotions and his aggression.

He said his client, who had a record for violent offences, had managed to stay out of trouble for seven years prior to the incident on 21 April and had served the equivalent of a five-month prison sentence since being remanded in custody.

Sheriff Susan Craig told Carson Mr Taylor had said in a victim impact statement that the attack had had a “profound effect” on him.

She told him: “He was a total stranger to you and this was an utterly unprovoked incident in a public place.

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“You offer no excuse, no explanation. The best explanation you can give is you were still troubled by recent problems that led to a split in your relationship.

“You may have been very drunk but that’s no excuse. This is so serious – and the consequences for the individual you assaulted were so serious – it’s only appropriate for me to deal with it by a custodial sentence.”

She backdated to sentence to 23 May when Carson was first remanded in custody for the attack.