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Jail for attacker who pressed knife to man's neck in Inverness city centre


By Ali Morrison

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A former member of the Polish Army who suffered a significant brain injury after an assault claimed he was a victim of human trafficking and he needed to kill because he would be safe in prison.

The confession came soon after Piotr Antoszak (40) slashed a man's neck in Inverness city centre on May 21.

At Inverness Sheriff Court, Sheriff Sara Matheson jailed him for 14 months backdated to May 24 when he was remanded.

She told him: "Given this was an unprovoked assault with a knife to the neck of another person and the inherent danger, there is no alternative to a custodial sentence."

The sheriff had previously deferred sentence on Antoszak for a background and psychiatric report after hearing he told his victim "you have one second" after cutting his neck with a three-inch bladed knife.

The court was told that the victim, who did not know his attacker, feared for his life but only suffered a minor laceration in the attack in Lombard Street.

Defence solicitor Willie Young told Sheriff Matheson that Antoszak, who admitted assault to injury, had been diagnosed with a mental disorder, mental illness and a personality disorder.

But he was making progress with medication which he had not been taking regularly in the run-up to the assault.

Fiscal depute Sharon Ralph told the court that the victim had been out socialising with two friends and had gone for something to eat in a Lombard Street takeaway.

Mrs Ralph said: "The trio were sitting on a bench when Antoszak approached him from behind, putting his arms around his neck, and pressed the knife to his neck causing a laceration.

"The victim grabbed the accused's arm and struggled with him for several seconds until his friends came to his assistance."

Mrs Ralph added that one of the victim's pals pulled him away from Antoszak while the other grappled with him.

"The victim fled the scene in fear while the other two continued to grapple with Antoszak, resulting in him being disarmed. One of the friends placed the knife in a nearby bin."

Mr Young said his client was discharged from the army on medical grounds.

"But his mental condition led to his marriage break-up and he came to the UK to find work," he said.

"A number of incidents took place which included him being held captive by a group of individuals. He recalls very little of what took place but the man was not targeted. He wanted a place of safety and had no intention of harming him.

"But he appreciates that the victim was caused a significant amount of anxiety and there could be psychological harm in the short and long term."


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