A dispute over a missing mobile phone resulted in a vicious attack on the man suspected of having the device.
A trial heard that just an hour before, the same two men had been involved in a brawl with a baseball bat in an Upper Kessock Street house on July 18 last year.
But when they met each other again in the Merkinch Post Office, CCTV filmed 22 year old Michael Stewart grabbing Grant Booth’s clothing, and then repeatedly punching him on the head.
A jury took 70 minutes at Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday to dismiss an allegation that Stewart, of Telford Street, had first used the bat on 32 year old Booth in his flat before the later attack.
Mr Booth claimed he was hit up to six times with the bat by Stewart who suspected the phone had been stolen by him.
In evidence, Stewart told the jury he had been on a two day celebration of his 21st birthday and ended up in Mr Booth’s home.
He said he fell asleep on the couch and was wakened by banging on the window, before seeing Mr Booth at the living room door.
Stewart said: “He asked about his phone and then I asked him where mine was. He picked up a baseball bat behind the door and hit me on the shoulder.
“I ran at him and barged him to the ground and we were fighting.”
Stewart said he fled through the living room window only to encounter Mr Booth a little later at the shop.
“I admit I assaulted him in there as was shown on the CCTV. I asked him where my phone was and he just blanked me.” Stewart told his lawyer, Ian Houston.
Stewart had lodged a special defence of self defence.
The jury returned unanimous verdicts on the three charges Stewart faced. They found him guilty of assaulting Mr Booth to his injury in the Post Office by repeatedly punching him on the head.
But they acquitted him of assaulting Mr Booth’s 53 year old mother, Sara Ward and of threatening behaviour in the Upper Kessock Street flat.
Sheriff Margaret Neilson deferred sentence until August 22 for a background report.