Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Two brothers admit Edinburgh choking attack

Two brothers have admitted an attack on a man in Edinburgh which included trying to choke him with a belt.

Gavin Blair, 23, and Sean Blair, 25, attacked Lee Clark, 23, before abandoning their unconscious victim to go to a nightclub.

Mr Clark had been attacked after he complained one of the pair was being "inappropriate" with his girlfriend.

The brothers admitted, at the High Court in Glasgow, assaulting Mr Clark to the danger of his life.

The pair had originally faced an allegation of attempted murder and that the incident in Edinburgh city centre had been racially aggravated.

However, prosecutors accepted their guilty pleas to the reduced charge.

Soldier

The Blairs, who both have a history of violence, were remanded in custody and face jail terms when they are sentenced next month.

The court heard how Mr Clark, a soldier based at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh, had spent the day shopping in the capital with his girlfriend Emma Aien on 30 November 2012.

The couple later went to a bar in the Cowgate area where they were joined by the Blairs, who were friends of Miss Aien. Mr Clark had never met the pair before.

Miss Aien later suggested staying overnight in Edinburgh to save them a journey back to Livingston.

She then arranged a room at the Smart City Hostel in the capital's Blackfriars Street and all four headed there.

Prosecutor Leanne Cross said it was there that Mr Clark felt Sean Blair was being "inappropriate" with Miss Aien.

Sean Blair responded by punching the soldier before kicking him. His student brother Gavin then joined the attack by smacking Mr Clark in the face.

Miss Cross said the accused were soon involved in a "concerted" assault on the victim.

'Multiple kicks'

Sean Blair pulled off his belt and tightened it around Mr Clark's neck as his brother continued the beating.

Miss Cross added: "As the blows were being struck, Sean Blair was shouting encouragement."

"Both accused then took multiple kicks and stamps to the victim's head and body.

"He was aware of a final running kick to his head before the accused left."

The attack was heard by a guest in the next room and police were called.

Mr Clark was later discovered unconscious with boot marks across his face and neck.

Judge Lord Uist deferred sentencing until 13 May at the High Court in Edinburgh.

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