Eye op after attack

A WOMAN needed surgery on a shattered eye socket after a thug lashed out at her as she made her way to a shop.

William McMillan, who has a record for violence, attacked Margaret Mitchell after asking her for money to buy cigarettes.

McMillan (29), a prisoner, was jailed for two years at Hamlton Sheriff Court last week. He admitted punching Mrs Mitchell to her severe injury in Bellshill Road, Motherwell, on November 24.

Jacqueline Smyth, prosecuting, said Mrs Mitchell and her husband had left the homeless unit in Airth Court where they were living to go shopping at Asda about 11.15pm.

She told the court: “They came across the accused who was with some friends. He appeared to ask for money for cigarettes, but the couple said no and continued walking.

“McMillan ran after them, asking ‘What’s your problem?’ before punching Mrs Mitchell once on the face.

“She had surgery at Monklands Hospital for a fractured left eye socket and a metal plate was inserted to repair it.”

McMillan’s lawyer, Diarmid Bruce, said: “He doesn’t recollect much of what happened, but believed the couple were making disparaging comments.

“He might not have been right in that, but he lashed out and caused this unfortunate injury. He is genuinely sorry.”

More on this and other court cases in the Times & Speaker, out on Wednesday.