Crime outwith Moray: Highland League footballer Dean Stewart from Lossiemouth FC jailed for assault
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A Highland League footballer has been jailed for 16 months for attacking a man outside a lapdancing club and leaving him with multiple fractures.
Dean Stewart of Logan Court, Elgin, was caught on CCTV punching his victim in the face – just seconds after the two had shared a handshake and embraced.
The 24-year-old, who played centre back for Lossiemouth FC, was identified after police issued images of the attack which took place on November 10, 2019.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard earlier today that Stewart and his victim appeared to have agreed a truce following a 3am "exchange of words" outside Private Eyes on Academy Street, Inverness.
The surprise attack caused multiple facial fractures that required surgery, leaving the victim permanently disfigured.
Stewart had previously admitted a single charge of assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment.
Fiscal depute Susan Love told the court that the accused and his victim, along with two other men, were seen leaving the club.
She added that the pair appeared to settle their differences in the moments before the attack.
Miss Love said: "The accused then raises his hand to offer a high five or handshake, the complainer accepts, they embrace slightly."
However, the prosecutor stated that Stewart lashed out at his victim immediately afterwards.
Miss Love continued: "The accused then punched the complainer once to the face, the complainer evidently not expecting it and having no time to defend."
The victim was taken to Raigmore Hospital with multiple facial fractures to the right side of his face affecting his
cheek, eye and nose.
These required surgery where titanium plates and screws were inserted.
The victim was left with a drooping right eye, scarring inside his mouth and nerve pain.
Defence solicitor Scott McQuire said: "My client has stopped drinking alcohol since these events. He is a semi-professional footballer and also does coaching.
"He accepts he should have walked away. He reacted to a threat."
Sheriff Sara Matheson told Stewart: "There is no getting away from the fact that you have four previous convictions for assault and your victim suffered multiple fractures."