A disgruntled former shortbread factory worker who carried out a brutal early morning “cowardly and vicious attack” on a female supervisor has been jailed for six years.
Dad-of-five Jon Craig shattered 44-year-old Katarzyna Jaloszynska’s skull and smashed bones in her face, including her left eye socket and cheekbone.
The vicious assault took place at around 4.45am on October 26 last year, as she left her Elgin home to catch the bus to her work at Walkers shortbread factory in Aberlour.
At the High Court in Glasgow Craig admitted assaulting her to the danger of her life.
He was originally charged with attempted murder, but his plea to the reduced charge was accepted.
Passing sentence today judge Lord Mulholland said: “Your attack was cowardly and vicious, but for the skill of the surgeon she could have died.
“When detained, you lied to the police about having no knowledge of the attack on this lady.”
The attack with a pole or similar implement took place at Woodside Terrace, Elgin, on a lane which runs from Ms Jaloszynska’s home to the bus stop where she was due to catch a bus to work.
She has no memory of the vicious assault.
Her husband found her lying with her left leg bent under her. She was holding on to her handbag and was unable to speak. Her face and coat were covered in blood.
Craig, 55, from Elgin, made a formal complaint in April 2016 claiming he was being “abused, singled out, harassed and racially discriminated against” by Ms Jaloszynska, who is Polish. He resigned from the company on May 23, 2016, citing child care as the reason.
When questioned by police Craig initially denied the assault.
But he told officers: “Me and other factory workers were treated like jews in a death camp.”
He added: “There was a bullying culture at the factory and nothing was done, despite complaints.”
Prosecutor Duncan McPhie said: “He described that the supervisors would verbally abuse staff, by shouting, screaming and swearing at them.”
The court heard that Craig claimed Miss Jaloszynska’s attitude towards him changed after he broke up with one of her friends.
Craig alleged she would take him off easy jobs and put him on cleaning duties. He said he felt she was punishing him.
The court heard that after Miss Jaloszynska left for work her husband heard screaming and ran out and found her badly injured, covered in blood and unable to speak.
Emergency surgery was carried out at Aberdeen Royal Hospital to remove fragments of bone from her brain.
She is still unable to speak, although she can obey commands.
Mr McPhie said: “The final outcome with regards to the complainer’s brain injury has not yet been determined. It will take a minimum of six months to ascertain this.
“The consultant neurosurgeon said that the injuries sustained were consistent with blunt force trauma caused by a fair degree of force in order to fracture the skull.”
Defence counsel Shahid Latif said Craig has expressed “remorse and regret”.
In mitigation he said: “He’s sorry, he has accepted his guilt, he has pled guilty.”
Mr Latif asked the judge to have regard to Craig being in a relationship – and the fact he has young children.