Thug attack left man with fractured skull

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A young thug who launched an unprovoked attack on a man outside a nightclub put his life in danger with a single blow.

Callum Gray’s punch caused Ross Dickson’s skull to fracture as he hit the ground.

Livingston Sheriff Court heard yesterday that a fragment of broken bone severed a blood vessel inside his head causing extensive bleeding.

The bleeding was so bad that Mr Dickson’s brain swelled up, prosecutor Catherine Knowles told the court.

He was kept under observation after being given emergency treatment at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian, before being discharged.

However, he was later readmitted to hospital and transferred by ambulance to Edinburgh’s Western General after his condition worsened.

Gray, 20, of Bruce Road, Bathgate, West Lothian, pled guilty on indictment to assault to severe injury and to the danger of life yesterday.

Passing sentence, Sheriff John Rafferty told Gray: “You’ve pled guilty to an unprovoked assault on a wholly innocent person who was having a social night out with friends.

“As a result of that attack you rendered him unconscious and you endangered his life.

“He suffered a severe injury and has provided a victim impact statement regarding the gravity of your unprovoked assault on him and the consequences for him.”

He ordered Gray to pay his victim £4,000 compensation by £50 weekly installments and sentenced him to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

Gray was also placed under social work supervision for two years under a community payback order.

Co-accused Calum MacMillan, 22, of Buchan Road, Bathgate, pled guilty to punching and kicking Alistair Wood on the face during the same incident on August 9 last year.

Mrs Knowles said someone else had assaulted Mr Wood before MacMillan’s attack and the accused was seen laughing as he walked away.

MacMillan was placed on probation for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Gray and MacMillan were also made subject to a conduct requirement banning them from the nightclub for two years.

Lawyers representing each of the accused said they came from good homes and had jobs.