A man suffered such a traumatic brain injury he lost his sense of taste and smell after an alleged assault outside a Perthshire pub.
Former tradesman Jeremy Higgins spent 10 days at a neurosurgery high dependency ward after he was knocked unconscious at the front door of the Dreadnought Inn, Blairgowrie.
Lynsey Smeaton, 37, has gone on trial at Perth Sheriff Court, accused of assaulting Mr Higgins to his severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life.
It is alleged that on May 12, 2019, she pushed him on the body, causing him to fall to the ground and rendering him unconscious.
Smeaton, a customer service advisor at power firm SSE, denies the assault and claims she was acting in self defence.
She accepts she pushed Mr Higgins on the chest with both hands but insists she did not use “excessive force”.
Smeaton said Mr Higgins was behaving aggressively towards her and was making “hurtful and unfounded” comments about her friendship with his brother-in-law Edward Rooney.
Jurors heard Mr Higgins, 55, had no recollection of the incident outside the Perth Street pub.
As well as losing his sense of taste and smell, he told the trial he had lost about 30% hearing in both ears and suffered memory loss.
“I’ll start reading a book one night and the next night I’d pick it up again and I can’t remember what had happened,” he said.
He said he knew Smeaton as a friend of Mr Rooney, but said he had not spoken to her about his suspicions about their relationship.
Under cross-examination by defence agent David Holmes, he admitted several previous court convictions over a near-10-year period, including offences involving behaving in a threatening or abuse manner.
Smeaton, of Arthur Wynd, Blairgowrie, told the court she stepped outside the pub for a cigarette on the night of the alleged attack and saw Mr Higgins and Mr Rooney chatting.
She said Mr Higgins then asked her: “What are you doing standing there?”
Smeaton said whenever Mr Higgins had made a comment about her friendship with Mr Rooney in the past, it was just a passing comment, “but this time, he was more aggressive”.
“I tried to lighten things, telling him I can stand wherever I want.
“Then he repeated himself. Asking me what I was doing standing next to him (Mr Rooney).
“Then he repeated it again, more aggressively with his arms out.”
Smeaton said she became upset. “I’m not used to men screaming in my face.
“I pushed him with two hands on his chest. I just turned around and walked down the road. I was upset and I wanted to get home.”
The court heard that Mr Rooney called after her: “You’ve knocked him out.”
Smeaton said: “I turned around, but then I carried on walking. People were there, he wasn’t left unattended.”
Depute fiscal Michael Sweeney asked her: “Would it not occur to you that if you pushed him, because he had been drinking all day, he would fall over?”
She replied: “I didn’t use excessive force. I would have expected him to have been able to find his feet.”
The trial before Sheriff Gillian Wade continues.