A soldier carried out a brutal murder bid on a stranger while on weekend leave.
Scott Linton, 23, had been returning from a family party when he pounced on Steven McAllister in a lane in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire on March 14 2020.
The lance corporal – who served with the Royal Regiment of Scotland 5 Scots – 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.
The beating was so severe the tread of Linton’s trainer was still imprinted on his head.
Father-of-two Linton – who has been in the army for almost eight years – today pled guilty 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.
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 Mr McAllister, 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 Mr McAllister, 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.
Mr McAllister 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.
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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