A construction worker has been jailed after he drunkenly shoved a co-worker causing brain injuries that left his victim unable to work.
Builder Rhys Butler appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted assaulting the man outside the Cala Homes event at the Beach Ballroom.
The court was told Butler had criticised his victim’s apprentice and an argument ensued.
Butler, 31, pushed the man with both hands, causing him to fall back and hit his head on the concrete ground.
When taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI), the bricklayer had suffered a skull fracture and a bleed on the brain.
Fiscal depute Brian Young told the court that on November 19 last year employer Cala Homes had hosted a free bar event for staff at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom.
In the smoking area outside Butler entered into a bit of “banter” and began to pick on one of the younger construction workers – describing him as a poor apprentice.
Butler’s victim interjected, telling him “he’s my apprentice, if anyone is going to slag him off it should be me” and the argument ensued.
Mr Young said: “The complainer moved in front of where the accused was standing and the accused then put his hands up and pushed the complainer with both hands on his chest.
“The complainer fell back and hit the back of his head on the concrete.
“The complainer recalls stumbling backwards and from that point on has no recollection.
“He appeared to have been knocked unconscious as a result of the fall and an ambulance was contacted along with the police.”
The man regained consciousness but was taken to ARI as a precaution.
Doctors then found he had suffered a skull fracture and bleeds on the brain – with his condition described as potentially life-threatening.
Following his discharge from the hospital, the man suffered from memory problems and could not climb stairs.
Upon returning to work, around three months after the incident, he didn’t have the physical strength to carry out his job as a bricklayer.
Butler pleaded guilty to one charge of assault to severe injury, impairment and danger to life.
‘Extremely remorseful for his actions that night’
Defence agent Lynn Bentley told the court that her client “wasn’t aware of the consequences” of what happened to the man until the police took him in for an interview.
“When he pushed the complainer he was told by other people to leave,” she said.
“Only when he was taken into police custody did he realise the full consequences of his actions.
“He regrets and is extremely remorseful for his actions on that night.
“Mr Butler wishes he had just walked away”.
Sheriff Graham Buchanan told Butler – who has a conviction for a similar offence – that his victim had suffered “serious consequences” of his actions.
“If you were appearing before me as a first offender then the situation would be different – but you have a previous conviction for assault to severe injury,” he said.
“Due to the serious nature of the charge, a custodial sentence is unavoidable.”
Sheriff Buchanan sentenced Butler, of Joss Court, Aberdeen, to 14 months in prison.
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