Man jailed over brutal South Bridge assault

Edinburgh High Court. Picture: Lewis Houghton/TSPL
Edinburgh High Court. Picture: Lewis Houghton/TSPL
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AN IT consultant was jailed for four years and ten months today after taking part in a brutal assault on a clubber in Edinburgh city centre.

Gordon Summers, 34, chased his victim before repeatedly punching and kicking him and hitting his head off the window of a charity shop.

Summers and an accomplice left Steven Ferry lying on the pavement but returned to resume their attack on the victim.

A judge told Summers at the High Court in Edinburgh: “This seems to me to have been a completely unprovoked attack on this man.”

Lord Burns said “inexcusable and wanton” violence had been inflicted on Mr Ferry during the assault at South Bridge on November 28 in 2010.

The judge told Summers that he took into account that he was not responsible for what may have been the most serious aspect of the assault _ stamping on the head of the victim.

Lord Burns told Summers: “It is highly unfortunate you, as a family man and a man with a good employment record, find yourself in this position.”

But he said a prison sentence had to be imposed and told Summers that he would have received six years’ imprisonment but for his guilty plea.

Summers, of Glen Road, Livingston, in West Lothian, had earlier admitted assaulting Mr Ferry to his severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life while acting with Paul St Pierre.

St Pierre, 30, an ex-NHS IT specialist, formerly of Lawers Square, Penicuik, in Midlothian, was jailed for nine years last year after he was found guilty of attempting to murder Mr Ferry, 23, following the incident.

Mr Ferry had gone to a DJ event at the City nightclub and afterwards tried to get into other premises, but was refused entry by stewards.

Witnesses later saw him being chased and he tried to take refuge in a bus shelter but Summers and St Pierre confronted him and launched an attack.

The victim was wrestled to the ground and punched and kicked on the head and body before being pushed against a window with his head being struck repeatedly against it.

His attackers let him go and he fell to the ground. They walked away but returned seconds later and punched and kicked him again. St Pierre also stamped on his head.

Witnesses tried to intervene to stop the assault and the pair left the scene. An ambulance was called and the unconscious victim was placed in the recovery position.

He was found to have serious head injuries and spent nine weeks in hospital after the street attack. He suffered seizures following the assault and was found to have post traumatic amnesia.

The court heard that he had been unable to follow his dream of running his own gardening business.

Defence solicitor advocate Ian Bryce said that it was clearly a “serious matter” but argued that the stamping on the victim’s head was most serious element in the attack, which Summers was not responsible for.