Jail for attacker who ‘grinned’ after brutal assault in city street

William McGregor

A thug who randomly attacked a man leaving him with a fractured eye socket and needing two metal plates in his skull has been jailed for more than three years.

William McGregor – who the court heard walked away from the assault “grinning” – was handed a total of 40 months in custody when he appeared at the city’s sheriff court.

The 28-year-old – who claimed to have no memory of the incident due to drink – admitted assaulting Alexander Black to his severe injury on the city’s Victoria Road by repeatedly punching him on the head.

After he had been knocked to the ground he went on to kick the man on the head.

He further admitted punching a second man on the city’s Market Street.

The offences took place on June 17 this year.

Mr Black, 25, of Torry, told the Evening Express: “I went to the shop at about 9.45pm to buy some hot chocolate and had just come out when it happened.

“This guy came up to me and shouted for a lighter.

“I had one and was handing it to him; then he said something to me and hit me in the face and I was knocked to the floor. And then he started kicking me.

“I remember that he broke my glasses and he broke bones in my face.

“I managed to get away and he walked off.

“He was stupid enough to walk right past Torry Police Station and was caught on CCTV, so it made it easier for the police to arrest him two days later.

“[A&E] told me that I had broken my face in three places and had a fractured eye socket.

“I’ve since undergone facial surgery and have been told that I have permanent scarring on my face. They have had to put two metal plates in it.

“The guy who did it said he had been drinking, but I don’t believe that. I couldn’t smell it on him and neither could anyone else who was around him. He was swaggering rather than staggering.

“I don’t under-stand why it happened and it has knocked my self-confidence; though I think it has had an affect on the other victim more.”

Fiscal depute, Jamie Dunbar, told the court McGregor “repeatedly punched the complainer in the face which caused him to fall to the ground” and then “kicked him on the head”.

Speaking of the second incident, Mr Dunbar said McGregor punched his victim in an “entirely unprovoked” assault as he walked along the street.

Defence agent John Ferrie said his client had been drinking on the date of the offences, saying: “He has no memory of these incidents.”

Sheriff Graeme Napier told McGregor, who has previous convictions for assault, that his behaviour was “disgraceful”.

Reading from a victim impact statement given by the man McGregor attacked on Market Street, he said: “This is the first time I have been out after 9pm in years, it was only to the cinema, I do not think I will be out again for a long time. This is not the first time this has happened to me in Aberdeen, says the same victim.”

Sheriff Napier added: “It paints a terrible picture to the general public of what it is like to go about your general business in Aberdeen.”