Lanarkshire soldier launched violent and unprovoked attack on stranger

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A Lanarkshire soldier carried out a savage murder bid on a complete stranger while on weekend leave.

On his way home from a family party in Cumbernauld, Scott Linton, 23, pounced on the man in a lane on March 14, 2020.

The body lance punched, kicked and stamped on the 47-year-old leaving him unconscious in a pool of blood.

The victim ended up in hospital for 12 days after the motiveless attack.

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The beating was so severe the tread of Linton’s trainer was still imprinted on the man’s head.

Father-of-two Linton – who has been in the army for almost eight years – pleaded guilty yesterday to an attempted murder charge as he appeared in the dock at the High Court in Glasgow.

His QC said the crime was “entirely out of character” for the first offender.

Linton – whose address was marked Redford Barracks in Edinburgh – had his bail continued by a judge.

The squaddie will be sentenced in March.

The court heard how Linton had been with his partner and other relatives at a family party at a local pub.

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Linton was later dropped off home separately after leaving the bash.

Prosecutor Michael Macintosh said instead of heading to the front door, the on-leave soldier instead walked down a nearby lane.

It was there he met the man, who was not known to him.

Linton suddenly started shouting at him including yelling: “Who the f*** are you?”

He then went on to repeatedly punch and kick the stranger as well as stamping on his head.

Linton’s partner could then hear shouting and raced out to investigate.

Mr Macintosh: “Linton was standing over [the man], who was lying on the ground.

“His breathing was shallow and he was not moving.”

Linton bizarrely claimed the man had made a jibe about a relative before adding: “I punched his c*** in.”

The soldier was held by police shortly after the attack.

He stated to officers: “You would do the same.”

Blood found on him matched the victim, who was rushed to hospital and put on a ventilator.

Mr Macintosh: “His eyes were severely swollen and there was a tread mark clearly visible on his forehead.”

This matched the sole of the trainers Linton had been wearing that night.

The man suffered fractures near his eyes as well as at his shoulder blade.

It was March 26 2020 before he left hospital – he initially had limited mobility.

There had also been concerns about the vision in one of his eyes.

But, Mr Macintosh said the victim fortunately has been left with no lasting scarring or disfigurement.

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Linton’s QC said the soldier had not had a “specific diagnosis” of post traumatic stress disorder.

Ronnie Renucci, defending, added: “This is something that will have to be investigated in due course.

“He fully appreciates that there are factors with the offense which appear entirely out of character.

“There could be a culmination of events which lead to this.”

Judge Lady Scott then commented on what happened “does not make much sense”.

She deferred sentencing until March 11 in Inverness for reports.

She went on to state to Linton: “I am quite content to continue bail. The more information I get, the better it is for you.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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