A GAY man who inflicted horrific facial injuries on his former partner during an angry argument has escaped being sent to prison.
Jordan Palmer,21, smashed a glass into Ross Sneddon’s face after the pair had a bust up in a pal’s house in Leith, Edinburgh on March 2011.
The city’s Sheriff Court heard how Palmer, of East Craigs, Edinburgh, screamed “I love you” as his former partner writhed in pain with cuts to his face and head.
Palmer - who fell victim to an attack by a homophobic mob in September 2011 - pleaded guilty to a serious assault charge at the city’s Sheriff Court last month.
But appearing for sentence on Thursday, Sheriff Fiona Reith QC looked at the photographs of Mr Sneddon and said that his injuries were “pretty bad”.
Sheriff Reith also referred to a statement supplied to the court by Mr Sneddon who said that he took medication for depression and was now afraid to go out.
However, the judge spared Palmer prison after hearing how he regretted attacking Mr Sneddon and spent all of his time thinking about the impact of his actions on his ex lover.
Sentencing him to 300 hours community service, Sheriff Reith said that he would have been sent to the city’s Saughton jail if he hadn’t pleaded guilty.
She added: “I accept that your remorse for this is genuine. Overall in all the circumstances there are mitigating circumstances. I am convinced that a direct alternative to custody can, in this case, be found.”
At the earlier hearing, the court heard how the pair were invited to a pal’s house on March 20 and had a bottle of wine each before the violent falling out.
Depute fiscal Dev Kapadia told the court that Palmer exchanged angry words with Ross before he glassed him.
Mr Kapadia said: “They began arguing with each other and they retreated to a nearby bedroom in a bid to resolve their difficulties.
“The accused pushed the complainer onto the bed during the argument which aggravated the situation.
“The complainer then tried to leave. It was at this point that the accused smashed a wine glass onto the complainer’s forehead.
“The other witnesses heard the sound of smashing glass and shouting. They saw the complainer shout ‘Look at what you’ve done to me’
“The accused then shouted ‘I love you.’”
Mr Sneddon was then taken to St John’s Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian where doctors treated him for “serious facial lacerations.”
At Wednesday’s hearing, Sheriff Reith read passages from the statement that Mr Sneddon provided to the court.
Mr Sneddon said that he feared leaving his home, had difficulty forming new relationships and was on medication for depression.
Defence solicitor Elaine Clancy told the court that Palmer and Mr Sneddon had been dating for seven months before the attack.
The court heard that they had split for five weeks because Mr Sneddon had cheated on him but had got back together shortly before the brutal assault.
Miss Clancy said: “It was a somewhat fraught relationship. There was an incident of infidelity on Mr Sneddon’s part. On the night of the incident Mr Sneddon had contacted a former partner.
“He reacted by striking Mr Sneddon and he forgot he had a glass in his hand.
“He has expressed profound regret about what happened. He thinks about it every day and wants to apologise to Mr Sneddon.
“He is not a violent man. I would ask you not to send him to prison. His sexuality may make him a vulnerable member of the prison population. He spent two days in custody after he was arrested - he tells me that it felt like months.
“He was a victim of bullying at school. He himself was a victim of attack by a number of young youths in September in which his jaw was left fractured. The police suspect this was a homophobic attack.
“He is also willing to pay compensation to Mr Sneddon. I would ask you to consider an alternative disposal to prison.”
Sheriff Reith agreed - and also ordered Palmer to pay his victim £1,500 in compensation.
She added: “If you hadn’t pleaded guilty you would have been sent to prison.”