A THUG has been jailed for 18 months after an unprovoked attack in an Inverness street left his victim permanently disfigured.
Jailing Martin Wood for 18 months, Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood said he had "a clear propensity for violence" and had carried out an unprovoked and vicious attack.
A jury previously took just 25 minutes to find him guilty by majority verdict of the attack at a bus stop in Union Street on July 9 last year.
Wood (35), from the city’s Carnarc Crescent, had lodged a special defence of self defence at Inverness Sheriff Court. He had denied assaulting Mark Paton by striking him on the head causing him to fall to the ground and then repeatedly punching him on the head to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement and impairment.
But after his conviction Inverness Sheriff Court heard Wood had a record of violence stretching back more than a decade. He was also jailed 11 years ago for assaulting someone to serious injury and permanent disfigurement.
Mr Paton, who was a former friend of Wood, was treated at Raigmore Hospital for an injury to his nose which resulted in a deformity that caused a nasal blockage. In evidence Mr Paton said the injury had caused problems with his speech, disturbed his sleep, and he was awaiting surgery to his nose.
Mr Paton (34) said he had been at MacCallum’s Bar in Union Street and left about 5.30pm. He stood outside and walked across the street and had his earphones in as he listened to music on his mobile phone. Wood came round a corner and punched him in the face striking him on the nose. He fell to the ground and was then struck on the head, neck and shoulder.
He denied a suggestion by defence solicitor Patrick O’Dea that he was going to strike Wood with his mobile phone and Wood had only acted in self defence.
Mr Paton said he had been friends with Wood until he found out how aggressive he was.
Eye-witness Ian Beaton (41), who was working nearby, said Wood knocked Mr Paton in the face for no reason.
PC Douglas Howe said Wood was intoxicated when he was interviewed.
At yesterday’s sentencing hearing solicitor David Paterson, in mitigation, said Wood was now in a different situation than at the time of the offence. He had a job, was in a relationship and was looking after an ill, elderly friend.
But jailing Wood, Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood said he had carried out an unprovoked and vicious assault on an innocent man.
"You are a man who has a clear propensity to violence."