A thug has been ordered to write an essay outlining why he shouldn’t be locked up – after he admitted kicking a disabled man in the head leaving him unconscious.
Aiden Bartlett, 20, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for sentencing alongside his 17-year-old co-accused, who can’t be named for legal reasons.
The pair had previously admitted assaulting Richard Boyd by following him, chasing him then pushing him to the ground before repeatedly kicking him to the head, leaving him unconscious.
Sheriff Christine McCrossan said to Bartlett: “The maximum I can give you is a year – I’m not sure that would be enough for something like this.”
However, she went on to say a background report seemed to support the view that Bartlett was “extremely remorseful and wanted to turn his life around”.
She told him: “I have to think about this person and their family and what they would expect.”
She told him that prior to returning to court in six weeks for sentencing he would have to put something in writing to advocate why he should not be given a period of detention.
She said: “I want you to persuade me that I should have faith in you to turn your life around. I want you to write down why I should give you that chance and how I can justify giving you that opportunity, how I can justify that to the complainer and his family. You can hear from what I am saying how disgusted I am with what happened that night.
“At the moment, having heard what I’ve heard, I think custody is the only alternative but I see some hope in the report.”
Mr Boyd has previously battled cancer, followed by a stroke, and still suffers from some mobility issues today.
The offence took place on Crown Street, Wellington Place and South College Street.
Bartlett, who is being held at young offenders’ institute Polmont, was told by Sheriff McCrossan that he would have to “persuade” her in writing why she should not hand him a custodial sentence.
The teen and Bartlett launched their attack on Mr Boyd, 34, during the evening of December 6 last year.
Fiscal Depute Sophie Hanlon said that at one point during the incident, Mr Boyd was lying “motionless”.
However, the attack continued, with Mr Boyd again being kicked to the head.
Police were alerted to the incident by CCTV operators and Bartlett and his co-accused were apprehended. An ambulance was called out for Mr Boyd, who sustained bruising to his face and a lump to the left side of his head.
Defence for Bartlett, Michael Horsman said it was his client’s position he was unaware at the time that Mr Boyd was disabled.
Mr Horsman added that what happened was “terrible” and “shameful” for Bartlett’s family and friends.
He said: “He seems to be genuinely remorseful”.