by Alex Dowdalls

A THUG who left a man scarred for life on the day he was out celebrating his daughter’s First Communion has escaped a jail sentence.

John Russell, 47, of Drumry Road East, carried out the vicious attack on the man on Dumbarton Road, Clydebank, on May 13.

Dumbarton Sheriff Court heard on Friday how Russell punched his victim on the head to his injury and permanent disfigurement.

He behaved in a threatening or abusive manner, causing fear and alarm and engaging in a stand-up fight.

Prosecutor Craig Wainwright said: “John Russell had been at a communion service with the man and his partner, for the man’s daughter.

“They had been in a number of pubs throughout the day. An argument had ensued earlier.

“At 11.30pm on Dumbarton Road, the man approached Russell, who turned and punched him in the face.

“He stumbled onto the road almost into the path of a police car on uniform mobile patrol.

“He was bleeding heavily from the right side of his face. Russell told officers ‘I admit it’.

“Russell was taken to Clydebank police office where he made no comment when interviewed.”

The court then heard how the victim was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where he had two stitches inserted in a two and a half inch laceration to his right cheek. Medics confirmed it would leave a permanent scar.

Defence lawyer Lauren Kerr said: “There was a background from earlier in the evening.

“He accepted he should not have acted in that way and is very regretful of the injuries he has caused.”

Sheriff John Hamilton said: “Albeit what happened, there was a significant gap between anything that happened in the pub and what happened in the street and the injuries that you inflicted on this man.

“You were aggressive with such force you left his scarred for life. That is a serious matter. It simply was not acceptable.”

Russell was put on a community payback order and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, which was reduced from 240 hours because of his early plea.

He was told he had 12 months to complete the work.