A woman was left needing part of her skull removed after being attacked in Aberdeen city centre by a couple – who also stole her shoes as she lay unconscious.
Daniel Bertram, 30, a prisoner of HMP Perth, was locked up for 30 months, while Claire Hay, 38, got 27 months after the pair admitted assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement, danger of life and robbery.
The pair, who are in a relationship, launched the “prolonged and concerted” attack on the woman, who they knew, just after 4am on May 26 this year in the communal hallway of a Union Street flat.
After the attack they were seen on CCTV leaning over her to check if she was breathing before fleeing.
The victim was found lying at the bottom of stairs by a resident on his way to work at around 6.30am.
At Aberdeen Royal Infirmary she was found to have a fractured skull as a result of the attack instigated by Hay, of Tullohill Gardens, Aberdeen.
She needed immediate surgery and a piece of her skull had to be removed to clear a blood clot.
She remained in hospital for weeks before a move to supported accommodation and was only recently released home.
Fiscal depute Stephanie Ross told the court CCTV footage showed the three of them in the corridor, where they appeared to be talking. Miss Ross said the woman is seen to turn and then Hay “approaches from behind” placing her arms round her neck in a hold.
She said: “A brief struggle ensues at that point, at which time Bertram becomes involved; he seizes hold of the woman and appears to assist Hay in the attack.”
Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told that at one point the woman managed to break free, but was pulled back by Hay, helped by Bertram – who went on to grab her in a “choke hold”, while Hay repeatedly punched her.
At one point the woman was pulled backwards, fell to the ground and hit her head, with Bertram landing on top of her.
Miss Ross said: “While she was on the ground both the accused then search her; they are seen to rummage through her purse and remove cash, before Bertram took her shoes.”
Before leaving both Bertram stood on the woman’s stomach, while Hay did the same as well as standing on her chest.
Defence for Bertram Ian Woodward-Nutt said his client has been “heavily under the influence” of what was believed to be valium.
He added that his client was “horrified by his actions”.
Mr Woodward-Nutt said: “He knows he will spend a significant period of time in custody.”
Peter Shepherd, for Hay, said his client had been “visibly upset” on seeing the CCTV footage and instructed him to tender a guilty plea.
He said she had “genuine remorse” for her actions.
Sheriff Andrew Miller said the attack was “prolonged and concerted” saying it was “disturbing” conduct, with only a “significant” sentence appropriate.