Tayside and Central Scotland

Fraser Hutchison jailed after putting Michael Swankie in coma

A man has been jailed for more than three years after he repeatedly kicked a young father in the head as he lay on the ground.

Fraser Hutchison, 22, attacked Michael Swankie, 30, in Russell Street, Arbroath, on 17 March, resulting in his victim falling into a coma.

Hutchison earlier admitted assaulting Mr Swankie to the danger of his life.

Lord Bannatyne said a custodial sentence was "inevitable" as Hutchinson was a "serious risk" to public safety.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Hutchison, who has five previous convictions for similar offences, punched Mr Swankie on the head causing him to fall to the ground.

'Drinking to forget'

Hutchison then repeatedly struck him on the head with his foot causing Mr Swankie to fall into a coma.

Lord Bannatyne jailed Hutchison for 40 months.

Sentence had been deferred so the court could obtain reports about Hutchison's character.

On Friday, defence advocate Susan Duff told the court that Hutchison had problems with alcohol.

Ms Duff said her client began drinking after his mother was diagnosed with Hepatitis C following the birth of his younger sister.

Ms Duff added: "Alcohol has played a part in his offending. He was drinking to forget. However, he realises that when he was drinking it was just making him angry. "

Ms Duff told the court that Hutchison, a former apprentice floor layer, was expecting to be sent to prison and was determined to address his drink problem in jail.

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