A DISGRUNTLED former shortbread factory worker who carried out a "cowardly and vicious" attack on a female supervisor has been jailed for six years.
Dad-of-five Jon Craig shattered 44-year-old Katarzyna Jaloszynska’s skull and smashed bones in her face, including her left eye socket and cheekbone.
The brutal early morning assault took place at around 4.45am on October 26 last year, as she left her Elgin home to catch the bus to her work at the Walkers factory in Aberlour.
At the High Court in Glasgow, Craig admitted assaulting her to the danger of her life.
He was originally charged with attempted murder, but his plea to the reduced charge was accepted.
Passing sentence this morning, Lord Mulholland said: "Your attack was cowardly and vicious, but for the skill of the surgeon she could have died.
"When detained, you lied to the police about having no knowledge of the attack on this lady."
The attack with a pole or similar implement took place at Woodside Terrace in an alleyway which runs from Ms Jaloszynska’s home towards the bus stop.
She has no memory of the vicious assault.
Her husband ran outside after hearing her screams.
He found her lying on the ground, covered in blood with her left leg bent underneath her. She was still holding onto her handbag but was unable to speak.
The court heard that emergency surgery was carried out at Aberdeen Royal Hospital to remove fragments of bone from her brain.
She is still unable to speak, although she can obey commands.
Mr McPhie said: "The final outcome with regards to the complainer’s brain injury has not yet been determined. It will take a minimum of six months to ascertain this.
"The consultant neurosurgeon said that the injuries sustained were consistent with blunt force trauma caused by a fair degree of force in order to fracture the skull."
Craig, 55, from Elgin, made a formal complaint to his bosses at Walkers in April 2016, claiming he was being "abused, singled out, harassed and racially discriminated against" by Ms Jaloszynska, who is Polish.
He resigned from the company the following month, citing child care as the reason.
When questioned by police, Craig initially denied the assault.
But he told officers: "Me and other factory workers were treated like jews in a death camp."
He added: "There was a bullying culture at the factory and nothing was done, despite complaints."
The court heard that Craig claimed Miss Jaloszynska’s attitude towards him changed after he broke up with one of her friends.
Craig alleged she would take him off easy jobs and put him on cleaning duties. He said he felt that she was punishing him.
Defence counsel Shahid Latif said Craig has expressed "remorse and regret".
In mitigation he said: "He’s sorry, he has accepted his guilt, he has pled guilty."
Mr Latif asked the judge to have regard to Craig being in a relationship and having two young children.