A man has been jailed for brutally attacking a shopper at an Elgin supermarket and robbing him of his groceries.
Bradley Bywater admitted the attack at the Tesco store, which left his victim needing surgery and suffering from ongoing severe pain in his face.
The 21-year-old also admitted to having an offensive weapon, the hammer, on the day of the robbery.
Bywater appeared via videolink from custody at Inverness Sheriff Court to be sentenced for the crimes.
The charge detailed how Bywater, acting with another, assaulted the man at the store on Blackfriars Road by repeatedly striking him on the head and body with a hammer to his severe injury before robbing him of groceries.
Attack left victim with ‘severe pain’
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank acknowledged that the attack had left the victim needing medical intervention.
In a victim impact statement, the complainer said: “I still have severe pain in my face.”
Bywater’s solicitor Leonard Burkinshaw said his client was “a very vulnerable individual” who had previously been homeless in England and had undergone treatment for his mental health.
He explained that Bywater had previously had issues with substance abuse, particularly cocaine, but had since “gone cold turkey”.
He suggested that Bywater, who has been remanded since his arrest, could potentially be considered to have already served the punitive element of any sentence.
‘Maximum risk’ of reoffending
But, noting Bywater’s record of 49 previous convictions including for serious assault and battery, Sheriff Cruickshank said: “Given the nature of the offence, the injuries caused and the totality of your previous convictions, the only appropriate disposal is a custodial disposal.”
He sentenced Bywater, whose address was given as a prisoner in the prison of Polmont, to 22 months imprisonment, backdated to February 2 of this year.
Noting that a presentencing report found Bywater to be at “maximum risk” of reoffending and at risk of causing “significant harm” to others, the sheriff also imposed a 10-month supervised release order.
He said: “I consider that is necessary for the protection of the public from serious harm, which could be caused.”