A GALASHIELS man reigned 12 blows on his victim inflicting severe injuries and then asked police, 'did you see the belter I gave him?'

Samuel Wightman pleaded guilty to assaulting a man to his severe injury at a flat in Overhaugh Street, Galashiels, on January 27, last year.

Selkirk Sheriff Court was told that the victim suffered four fractures to an eye socket and one to a cheek bone and had to undergo surgery at St John's Hospital in Livingston.

But Sheriff David Hall said it was accepted with the negotiated plea Wightman had been provoked and took into account he was in full employment and decided to impose an alternative to custody.

The 27-year-old of Plumtree Place, Galashiels, was placed on a Community Pay Back order involving 15 months supervision and 200 hours unpaid work as well as being ordered to pay his victim £1,000 in compensation.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said the victim had been out with friends in Melrose before heading to Galashiels where they came across Wightman in a local public house.

Wightman left the pub and went to a nearby house where, both the victim and he were under the influence of alcohol, a confrontation developed.

The court was told that it had been claimed one of the victim's friends had slept with Wightman's former partner which was the background to the assault.

Mr Fraser said: "Twelve blows were struck and thereafter the police were called.

"The accused was spoken to by one of the police officers and said, 'I did it. I done it myself. Did you see the belter I have him?'."

Mr Fraser described the injuries suffered by the victim.

Defence lawyer Mat Patrick said it was accepted there was provocation as the victim had attempted to assault his client.

But Mr Patrick said Wightman responded by 'essentially going too far'.

He explained his client had tried to distance himself from this kind of behaviour and that the majority of his previous convictions were for road traffic matters.

Mr Patrick said Wightman had been abstaining from alcohol and was in full time employment providing support for his two year old child.

Sheriff Hall said it was a serious matter committed on bail with significant injuries.

But he added it had been accepted he had been provoked during the incident.

Sheriff Hall ordered Wightman to pay the compensation at a rate of £20 a week.