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Invergordon man sentenced at Tain Sheriff Court after breaking jaw of life-long friend with single punch

By Court Reporter

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Tain Sheriff Court
Tain Sheriff Court

A NIGHT out ended in violence after a man punched his life-long friend so hard on the face that he broke his jaw in two places.

Declyn Mackay (22), Kilmuir Place, Invergordon, lashed out because he thought Jordan Shields was “picking on” his younger brother, a court heard.

Mr Shields, who sank to his knees in the street from the force of the blow, suffered fractures on both the right and left side of his lower jaw along with a loose tooth.

He had to undergo an operation to insert a plate into one of the fractures and suffered pain for some time afterwards.

The incident happened on June 16 last year at Ardross Place and Strath Avenue, Invergordon.

Tain Sheriff Court was told on Monday that Shields, who met Mackay at primary school, had gone round to his home that evening to watch football on television with him and his brother.

Roderick Urquhart, prosecuting said: “They later went out with others who, it seems, were involved in a mock fight during which the accused said that nobody better lay a finger on his brother.

“Mr Shields then proceeded to place a finger on the accused’s brother who became aggressive. The accused took his brother’s part, becoming aggressive as well. Mr Shields put his hands and arms out to indicate to the accused to calm down and said 'calm down, we are all meant to be mates'.”

“At that point the accused punched Mr Shields once, causing him to fall to his knees. The accused then ran off.”

In a statement, Shields said that he had seen Mackay in the Invergordon area since the incident but had not spoken to him.

He said: “I do not carry any grudge or bear any malice towards him, although I cannot see us being friends again.”

Defence agent Rory Gowans said his client, who admitted the assault as well as breaching bail by failing to attend court on June 24 last year, wished to apologise “unreservedly" to his former friend.

“It was a group of friends together having a night out. Mr Mackay took the view his younger brother was being picked on and there was an altercation,” said the lawyer.

“Alcohol appears to have been a factor in terms of his decision making and he recognises this is a trigger for his aggressive behaviour. He has not touched a drop for 14 months."

Sheriff Chris Dickson ordered Mackay to pay his victim £500 in compensation and to be under social work supervision for nine months as well as undertake 150 hours unpaid work within nine months.

The sheriff said: "This was a serious assault. It was a single punch but a single punch can have fatal consequences and this had serious consequences."

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