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Peacemaker suffered broken jaw in one-punch KO in Inverness street

By Ali Morrison

Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.

A case of mistaken identity led to a peacemaker being knocked unconscious after one punch broke his jaw.

The innocent bystander's assailant was 25-year-old Morgan Stubbings who was described by Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald, who jailed him for 21 months, as having "a significant record for violence".

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that the incident in the city's Union Street was on November 19, 2022 – the day before Stubbings was due to go on holiday. He has been in custody ever since and his sentence was backdated.

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The sheriff was told that Stubbings was "extremely drunk" and had been attacked by another man.

"He thinks he strikes someone he was fighting with," defence solicitor Graham Mann said. "But this man had nothing to do with it.

"He knows now that he wasn't fighting with him at all."

Fiscal depute Susan Love told the court that the victim had been out socialising with his brother in Inverness city centre when he saw Stubbings fighting with another man.

"He went over and said: 'Whoa, what's going on, what's going on?' It was then he was punched once on the head, rendering him unconscious and knocking him to the ground.

"Nearby door staff intervened and one was punched three times behind his ear. The police were called and Stubbings told officers: 'I hit him. I knocked him out. It was his own fault. I hit him on the jaw and knocked him out.'"

But his boasts were about the wrong person and Mr Mann said the comments to the police proved that his client thought he had knocked out his attacker.

Ms Love said that when Stubbings was placed in the police vehicle, he tried to exit it, struggled violently and was kicking out with his legs.

She added that the victim was off work for a lengthy period after treatment for a broken jaw and five chipped front teeth.

"He still has sensitive teeth," Ms Love went on.

Stubbings, described as an Inverness prisoner but has connections to Wick, admitted assault to severe injury and impairment, assaulting a doorman and resisting arrest.

Sheriff Macdonald told him: "You are a young man with a significant record for violence.

"If you carry on like this, you will spend the rest of your life in and out of prison. It was a violent assault on someone who had nothing to do with what you were doing."

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