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Attacker's 'saving grace' was quitting booze after Inverness assault

By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Gary Aitken heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Sheriff Gary Aitken heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Two former workmates met up for a drink but subsequently engaged in a fight with one attacking the other with a knife, saying he was going to "slice him".

Inverness Sheriff Court was told that 36-year-old Adam Rennie admitted assaulting Colin Saunders to his severe injury and impairment, inflicting a hand injury as Mr Saunders tried to defend himself after the two had previously fought in Inverness city centre.

But defence solicitor Marc Dickson said his client had turned his life around, had since given up alcohol and gone back to his former career as a chef.

Sheriff Gary Aitken told Rennie, of Bruce Gardens, Inverness that because of the efforts he had made, he would allow him to continue in his job and imposed 210 hours of unpaid work as an alternative.

The sheriff said: "You have a very poor record including for disorder, violence and you have previously been in possession of a knife.

"This was a very significant assault irrespective of the background. There is no excuse for attacking someone with a knife. The saving grace is that you have realised the difficulties alcohol gets you into and you have taken steps to address this and get back into employment."

Mr Dickson told the court that the two had previously worked together, but had "some form of disagreement" after both became intoxicated.

Fiscal depute Susan Love said that police had been called to a disturbance in Varrich Crescent, Inverness on October 29, 2022.

"A witness looked out of her property and saw Saunders curled up in a ball with his hands up and Adam Rennie standing over him with a knife in his hand," she said.

"Saunders was bare chested and covered in blood and Rennie was heard to say he was going to slice him. Police were called and Saunders was taken to hospital.

"Adam Rennie locked himself in the property and as he had a knife, the Armed Response Unit was alerted. Entry was forced and he was arrested."

The court heard that Rennie had nose, mouth, wrist, elbow and arm injuries while Mr Saunders sustained tendon damage to a finger.

Ms Love added: "He now has a lack of sensation in the finger but he didn't turn up for scheduled surgery. When he requested another appointment, it was too late for surgery."

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