An award-winning Aberdeen bus driver has admitted leaving a colleague scarred for life in a fight after strike tensions boiled over.
Leon King yesterday admitted assaulting his fellow First Aberdeen bus driver David Gove, leaving him with a fractured eye socket.
His victim needed surgery and to have a metal plate fitted to help the bone heal.
Sheriff Graeme Napier warned King to expect to be fined more than £1,000 when he appears for sentencing next month.
The attack last March happened outside Pittodrie football stadium following a work function at which 35-year-old King had been presented with an award, the court was told.
In the early part of 2018, bus passengers across Aberdeen faced weeks of disruption as a row over pay and working conditions between union members and First rolled on.
Fiscal depute Katy Begg said: “Some employees including the accused took part in industrial action.
“The complainer did not strike and as a result there have been difficulties between him and the accused.”
Ms Begg said after the First Bus function on March 23, Mr Gove and his wife boarded a privately hired bus.
She added: “The accused got out of his seat leaving behind his framed certificate and the complainer brought this to his attention by tapping him on this shoulder.
“The accused immediately turned around and became aggressive towards him, shouting ‘don’t touch me you scab’, this being a reference to the complainer not having taken part in the strike.”
The court was told “very drunk” King then got off the bus and Mr Gove, annoyed by the comment, followed him.
The driver of the private coach said that although Mr Gove was also drunk, he saw him trying to calm King down.
Ms Begg said then “without warning”, King punched him in the face.
“He fell to the ground where punches were thrown by both.”
Mr Gove was left with cuts on his eyebrow, the bridge of his nose and under his eye, and his glasses were broken.
Ms Begg said he still suffered from double vision, numbness in his face and puffiness under his eye, which he considers permanently disfiguring.
King’s solicitor Liam McAllister said he had resigned from his job with First only days after the incident.
Mr McAllister added his client had managed to secure work with another bus firm but has since been suspended ahead of the court proceedings.
He said King, of Marischal Court in Aberdeen, had consumed “a considerable amount of alcohol” and that there had been a “build up” between the pair before the fight.
Sentence was deferred until next month.