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Man jailed for attacking disabled boy with pillow

A man who attacked a severely disabled child and put a pillow over the boy’s face after drinking two bottles of Buckfast tonic wine has been jailed for 40 months.

Jamie Collins, 36, left the 10-year-old victim with injuries consistent with an attempted smothering following the assault in Midlothian in May last year.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Collins carried out the attack after he was left in charge of the child when the youngster’s mother went out for the evening.

The alarm was raised when another child found the victim with a pillow over his swollen face.

The youngster was taken to hospital and Collins was later traced to the Fort William area in the Scottish Highlands.

Judge Lord Doherty said the child suffered a number of injuries, including grazing and bruising to the right side of his face, a swollen lip, and bruising to his nose, cheekbone, buttocks, legs, and around the eyes.

The judge added: “Several of the injuries to the face are consistent with an attempted smothering to the danger of life.

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“The child made a full recovery from the physical injuries.

“There are no apparent signs of long-term emotional or psychological damage, but it is difficult to assess whether there is any because the child cannot speak.”

Collins was sentenced on Tuesday after earlier admitting to assaulting the child to the danger of his life by repeatedly striking him on the head and body and putting a pillow over his face and applying pressure.

Collins will also be supervised for a year following his release from custody.

Lord Doherty described the attack as a “very serious assault on a vulnerable child”.

He added: “The consequences could easily have been much more severe than they were. A significant custodial sentence is necessary to reflect your culpability and the harm caused.”

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‘It is clear there was no planning in this’

During an interview with police, Collins claimed he could not remember what had happened after drinking two bottles of Buckfast.

Defence counsel Kenneth Cloggie highlighted a background report which noted that his client was appalled, ashamed and remorseful.

He said: “It is clear there was no planning in this. It has to be recognised that no matter what was going on here he stopped, and he stopped of his own volition.”

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Lord Doherty accepted that the events of the evening “were out of character” and acknowledged that Collins was “genuinely remorseful” and wished to make amends to the child and the youngster’s family.

The judge added: “I accept that for some time before it you had been suffering from a mild to moderate depressive disorder.

“However, it seems likely that the major cause of you becoming violent that evening was your excessive consumption of alcohol.”

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