Man jailed for '˜devastating' single punch attack on Royal Mile

A MAN who left his victim incapable of living independently after an 'unprovoked' single punch on the Royal Mile has been jailed.

Thursday, 18th January 2018, 1:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th January 2018, 1:42 pm
Stuart Kitt was jailed at Edinburgh High Court

Stuart Kitt landed a single blow on Colin Braidwood during the “devastating” incident - leading to the victim hitting his head on the pavement.

Kitt, 39, was previously jailed in 2011 for four years after he forced a four-year-old girl into a freezer. At the trial seven years ago, Kitt tried to pin the blame on the child’s mother for the “cruel and wilful attack”. The girl was left with permanent burn marks to her skin.

Kitt was handed a seven-year jail term for the attack on Mr Braidwood, which took place on December 21, 2016.

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Lord Pentland told Kitt: “You punched the victim with substantial force in an unprovoked attack in the street.

“It appeared to me, in light of the evidence at the trial, that you had completely lost control of yourself.”

Kitt was also ordered to be kept under supervision for a further three-year period.

The defendant had denied the offence but was found guilty of assaulting Mr Braidwood to his permanent impairment and disfigurement and to the danger of his life following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Lord Pentland previously ordered that a full risk assessment be carried out on Kitt which can lead to the making of an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR).

Under an OLR, a court sets a minimum jail term to be served by the offender but any possible future release is left to the parole authorities.

Defence counsel David Nicholson urged the judge to deal with the case by imposing a determinate sentence followed by supervision.

He told the court: “He has the capacity to change and the willingness to do so. He has taken steps in that regard already.

“His personality will have to be stripped down and made back up again during his time in custody,” he said.

A psychiatrist who saw Kitt considered that at the core of his problems was emotional trauma he had suffered in childhood.

Mr Nicholson said Kitt had taken measures to address a drug problem.

Advocate depute Euan Cameron earlier told the court that Kitt has amassed 46 previous convictions, which included crimes of violence.

Mr Braidwood’s girlfriend, Natasha McCallum, said she had been in a flat with him in the city when Kitt and another woman arrived.

All four had later travelled to the High Street where she was to get a prescription. She said she had intended to get Mr Braidwood to a taxi and return to the flat on their own.

They had headed towards the Radisson Blu hotel but no taxis were there at the time.

She said: “Then the accused punched Mr Braidwood with everything he had.”

The prosecutor asked why the assault occurred and she said: “No reason whatsoever. A pure liberty. An unprovoked attack.”

She said that before the punch was thrown, Kitt had said she was too good looking for Mr Braidwood.

A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was last year handed a four-year sentence for the culpable homicide of footballer Shaun Woodburn, after landing a single punch. Shaun’s dad, Kevin, launched a campaign demanding for justice after the family labelled the sentence “unduly lenient”.