A north-east man “saw red” and punched an old rival from his youth after suspecting that the other man made a jibe about his cancer-stricken mum.
Scott Phillips had been drinking whisky in the Scots Bar, at the Holiday Inn hotel In Westhill, on Christmas Eve when the festive atmosphere turned sour.
Phillips, 21, was arrested for assaulting Christopher Middleton after an exchange of words and was fined £1,200 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday.
Fiscal depute, Rebecca Clark, said: “The complainer and the accused were drinking separately, in separate groups.
“They are known to each other but are not friends, and at 8.15pm the accused began talking to the other man.
“Phillips referred to a previous argument between them, and then suddenly punched him in the face.”
The court heard that Mr Middleton suffered a bruised cheek and Phillips, of Roadside Farm in Skene, later pleaded guilty to assault.
Defence agent, Gail Wiggins, said the two men have a rivalry dating back to their time in school.
She added: “On this night, my client had gone out with some colleagues and had too much to drink.
“The accused caught what he thought was a comment about his mother, and he simply saw red.
“He took offence because his mum is suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.”
The lawyer said Phillips is now looking into anger management treatment.