Man jailed for smashing Buckfast bottle over victim's head in Livingston

Fernbank, where the incident happened. Pic: Google Maps
Fernbank, where the incident happened. Pic: Google Maps
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A 33-year-old man has been jailed for 16 months for smashing a full bottle of Buckfast over a man’s head.

William Hutton scarred Christopher Douglas for life when he carried out the vicious assault outside a shop in Livingston, West Lothian.

Hutton, a self confessed alcoholic, admitted being very drunk when he launched his unprovoked attack on June 28 this year.

He pled guilty on indictment yesterday to assaulting Mr Douglas to his permanent disfigurement at Fernbank, Livingston, while on bail.

Jim Robertson, prosecuting, said the attack took place outside the Lifestyle Express store.

He said: “It was 5pm when the accused went into the shop and returned moments later with a bottle of Buckfast.

“The complainer states that the accused began to act in what he says was an annoying manner and describes him as ‘acting like a gangster’.

“He told him to leave and the accused responded by striking him on the head with the bottle of Buckfast, and when this was brought to the attention of staff in the shop the police were contacted.”

Mr Robertson said Hutton was no longer at the scene when police arrived about 5.30pm and the victim initially told officers he didn’t want medical attention.

Half an hour later it was decided that the injury was so serious that he should go to hospital.

He added: “When he attended the accident and emergency department at St John’s hospital he was assessed by a doctor.

“A 6cm gash on the left hand side of his forehead was treated with eight stitches under local anaesthetic and the doctor was of the opinion that it would leave a permanent scar.”

He said Hutton was eventually identified through police photographs of potential suspects and CCTV footage recovered from the shop. He made no reply to caution and charge.

Kevin Dugan, defending, said his client has been an alcoholic since he was 16 years old and witnessed alcohol abuse by his father every day after he returned from his time as a soldier in the Falklands.

Mr Dugan said that Hutton has been receiving help for his alcoholism since being on remand.

Jailing Hutton, Sheriff Martin Edington told him: “You appear in this court with three pages of previous convictions and quite a number of those are for offences of violence.

“Assault its always a serious matter but with your previous convictions an assault such as this, aggravated by striking someone on the head with a bottle is a particularly serious matter.

“You appear to accept that you are a man of violence and have an alcohol problem which at long last you’re starting to tackle.

“You need to do so because if you continue like this you will continue to go to prison for longer and longer periods.”

The sheriff said he had discounted the sentence from two years and would backdate it to 11 July when Hutton was remanded in custody for the attack.