Glasgow & West Scotland

George Kerr admits 'ammonia attack' on Greg Aitken

Ashton Lane Image copyright Google
Image caption Kerr attacked Mr Aitken while he was busking in Ashton Lane in Glasgow's west end

A man has admitted throwing an ammonia-like substance into the face of a student busker in Glasgow, causing chemical burns to his eyes.

George Kerr, 57, carried out the attack on 22-year-old Greg Aitken in Ashton Lane in the city's west end on 12 September last year.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Kerr attacked Mr Aitken after he had an argument with another man, Colin Sly.

Kerr, who has been in custody since October, will be sentenced next month.

Kerr, from the city's Ruchill area, admitted assaulting Mr Aitken by throwing an unidentified noxious substance onto his face and eyes to his severe injury and permanent impairment.

'That's him'

The court heard that Mr Aitken regularly busked in Ashton Lane and in early September had an argument with beggar Colin Sly, who grabbed him round the clothing and neck.

Mr Aitken punched Mr Sly to get him off. Mr Sly then ran off.

On 12 September, at about 18:30, Mr Sly walked along Ashton Lane with Kerr and pointed out Mr Aitken saying: "That's him."

At the time Mr Sly had a cast on his arm and shouted at Mr Aitken, saying: "I'll get you in two months."

Mr Aitken took this to mean that Mr Sly intended to assault him once his cast was removed.

Two hours later Kerr walked up and threw a paper cup full of an alkaline liquid at Mr Aitken.

Blurred vision

The court heard that a steward at a nearby pub threw water over him in a bid to wash away the noxious substance.

A friend then took him by taxi to the Western Infirmary where he was treated before being transferred to an eye specialist at Gartnavel Hospital.

Before the attack Mr Aitken's sight was perfect, now it is blurred, and he can only see things which are around four inches from his face.

He also has to wear sunglasses because daylight hurts his eyes, which are bloodshot and sore.

Following the attack, Kerr was identified from photographs and at an identification parade.

He initially denied any involvement but pleaded guilty to the attack when he appeared in court.

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