£3000 fine for drunk soldier who scarred man for life outside Edinburgh's Whistlebinkies pub

A drunk soldier who punched a man unconscious during a violent street attack has been ordered to pay his victim £3000 in compensation.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 4:45 pm

Gavin Malcolm, 36, launched a savage attack on Christopher Kirk when the pair clashed outside an Edinburgh city centre pub in 2018.

Malcolm - who had been drinking for nine hours during a night out with around 40 members of his platoon - punched his victim twice to the face leaving him out cold on the pavement.

Dad-of-two Malcolm then fled the area before police arrived but his attempted escape was captured by a CCTV operator who tracked him through the city centre and informed police to his location.

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Mr Kirk was left covered in blood and will be scarred for life following the unprovoked assault outside the Whistlebinkies pub in Edinburgh's Old Town.

Malcolm admitted assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month and he returned to the dock for sentencing on Tuesday.

Sheriff Robert Fife told the soldier he had carried out “a violent and unprovoked assault” and despite having a record for violence it was with “considerable hesitation” he would escape a jail sentence.

The sheriff said: “Your punches resulted in him falling to the ground rendering him unconscious and he has been left with permanent scarring to his lip and under his chin.

Gavin Malcolm pictured outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

“It is perfectly clear from the CCTV that followed your movements after the assault you knew what you had done.”

Malcolm, who is based at the Capital’s Redford Barracks, has been told he must pay Mr Kirk £3000 in compensation and ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work. He was also placed on a supervision order for 18 months.

Last month prosecutor Lynsay Magro told the court Malcolm, originally from Leeds, and Mr Kirk first clashed in the Whistebinkies pub before meeting again outside at around 3am on September 28, 2018.

Ms Magro said the pair were “not known to each other” and the shocking footage showed Mr Kirk standing speaking to his attacker with “his hands in his jacket pockets”.

Mr Kirk was left covered in blood and will be scarred for life following the unprovoked assault outside the Whistlebinkies pub in Edinburgh's Old Town.

The fiscal added: “The accused gestured towards him. The accused thereafter punched Mr Kirk twice to the head in quick succession.”

Ms Magro said the punches caused Mr Kirk to “fall flat onto the pavement and strike the ground”.

Pub staff rushed over to help the victim as he lay unconscious on the street and the CCTV footage caught Malcolm running away down a nearby street.

The court was told Mr Kirk, described as a manager, suffered several wounds to his face and there will be “permanent scarring due to the incident”.

Solicitor Andrew Mellor, defending, said Malcolm has “shown remorse and does not shy away from his responsibility for this offence” and was in a position to pay any financial penalty.

Mr Mellor had previously said the attack was a result of the men having “a row over drinks” in the pub before they met again outside on the street.

Malcolm admitted to assaulting Christopher Kirk by repeatedly striking him on the head causing him to fall to the ground rendering him unconscious and to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement at North Bridge, Edinburgh, on September 28, 2018.

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