View Full Version : Cleared of nightclub assault

17-Sep-14, 13:29
Accused relieved at jury's unanimous "not guilty" verdict

A WICK man has been cleared on a nightclub assault charge.
Craig Johnstone, 33, expressed relief after the jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty after an adjournment of only 33 minutes, at Wick Sheriff Court, today.
Johnstone, 33, had denied assaulting Aberdeen man Paul Aitchison by pushing him, causing him to fall and hit his head on the stone floor and lose consciousness, to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement and impairment. Father-of-five, Mr Aitchison and some of his fellow workers had gone out on the town, after their helicopter taking them south to Aberdeen was grounded at Wick, on August 23, last year.
While witnessess spoke to Mr Aitchison having been pushed at the Waterfront nightclub's Silver Darlings complex, only one of them alleged a possible connection with Johnstone but was only able to say he thought the accused was responsible.
During the three-day trial, the jury heard that Mr Aitchison, an oil worker, was unconsciousness and bleeding after the incident. He was treated in hospital but his injuries were long lasting. Mr Aitchison spent three weeks in hospital, in Aberdeen and has only returned to fulltime working, recently.
He was said to have undergone a personality change and was paranoid about going out for fear of being assaulted again.
Following the verdict Johnstone, of 10 Coghill Street, Wick, said the case had been hanging over him for more than a year and the jury verdict was a relief.
He said it had been "a very worrying time" and added: "I am very sorry for what happened to Mr Aitchison but what it was an unfortunate accident."