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Man jailed after assault on police officer left him with six months of memory loss

By Richard McLaughlin

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Court...Inverness Justice Centre.
Court...Inverness Justice Centre.

A man has been jailed for assaulting a police officer so severely that he suffered amnesia.

Thomas Stewart (28) head-butted the constable causing him to suffer six months of memory loss and recurring headaches, Inverness Sheriff Court was told.

Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald was told that the constable had been signed off work twice since the assault on September 25 last year and is still on light duties.

Stewart, of Druid Road, Inverness, had earlier pleaded guilty to assaulting the officer to his injury and permanent impairment.

He also admitted repeatedly punching and injuring a taxi driver.

Sentence had been deferred to see if Stewart could be of good behaviour.

However he appeared from custody on another matter when sentencing called at the court.

Sheriff MacDonald imposed a 13 month custodial sentence.

Stewart was also sentenced to a month in jail for breaching a community payback order and will have to finish 160 hours of unpaid work when released from prison.

The sheriff added: “These were two very serious assaults with very serious consequences for the people you assaulted.”

The court heard previously that the taxi driver had stopped at the junction of Culduthel Road and Old Edinburgh Road as Stewart was in the road, shouting at the car in front.

He turned his attention to the cab when the other vehicle drove round him.

Fiscal depute David Morton said: “He opened the door and repeatedly punched the driver on the face.

“He then grabbed his jacket and threw it on the ground. The driver had swelling to his right eye and a cut nose.

“He suffered from blurred vision and floaters in his eyes, and because it was unsafe for him to drive, he was off work for a month.”

Police were called and Stewart was found in nearby Mayfield Road.

“Stewart was told he was under arrest but he pulled back and head-butted the constable who was able to call for assistance before falling to the ground semi-conscious,” the fiscal said.

Stewart was arrested after a PAVA spray was deployed and the injured constable had a CT scan which revealed a concussion.

“He returned to work in March this year but can’t recall his day to day life for six months after the assault,” Mr Morton said.

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