A Moray soldier who knocked out a comrade in a street fight has been told he could be miss out on promotion for five years.
Troops from Kinloss Barracks were celebrating promotions and moves for personnel at the Abbey Inn before a fight broke out outside the Spar store in the village last February.
When Lance Corporal Craig Fagan saw his colleague Jonathan Sharp try to intervene he knocked him out with a single punch to the face.
The force of the impact broke Mr Sharp’s jaw.
Yesterday 26-year-old Fagan appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court for sentencing after delays due to him serving in the Falklands.
He previously admitted punching Mr Sharp on the head on February 20 last year.
Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov told the soldier, who serves in the 39 Engineer Regiment at Kinloss, that only “good fortune” had prevented the injuries being worse.
Fiscal David Morton said: “Mr Sharp has walked over in an attempt to break up the fight but after a short time backed away from the incident.
“At that point Mr Fagan approached Mr Sharp and punched him once with a closed fist to the right side of his face.
“Upon hearing the crack of the punch witnesses turned around and saw Mr Sharp lying on the floor and found him to be unconscious.”
The victim was taken back to the guardroom at the barracks before an ambulance was called to take him to hospital in Elgin.
Defence solicitor Matthew O’Neill explained people were “strewn about the place” and “jumping about” outside the pub. He added that “words were exchanged” between the two men before the punch.
Mr O’Neill said: “There will be an impact on his employment. At the moment he is unsure what that is. There is a strong possibility he will be unable to advance for five years.”
The solicitor added that Fagan had already apologised to Mr Stewart and attributed the injuries sustained due to his client’s strength as a result of his “physically demanding” job.
Fagan, of Golf View Crescent in New Elgin, was sentenced to 240 hours of unpaid work.