A killer is back behind bars after attacking a woman during a row over a five-week-old puppy.
John Hutchison was jailed for 21 months despite claims that he’ll struggle to cope with prison because of his poor health.
A jury heard that Kirsty McMillan owed her ex, Scott Wellings, £20 and he took the Staffordshire bull terrier from her until she paid him the cash.
Then Hutchison stepped in, handed Mr Wellings the money and said the dog was now his.
In a melee that followed, Ms McMillan was punched repeatedly as she tried to stop her pet being taken from her again.
Hutchison, 53, of Bellshill Road, Motherwell, Janet McAllister, 52, of Loganlea Road, Motherwell, and Alexander Stewart, 51, of Rockburn Crescent, Bellshill, were all accused of assaulting Ms McMillan at Hutchison’s home in February last year.
But, during their trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court, McAllister and Stewart had their not guilty pleas accepted.
Hutchison admitted punching Ms McMillan repeatedly, knocking her to the floor, grabbing her and making threats.
The victim said she had stitches put in a cut above her eyebrow, but an allegation that she suffered severe injury and permanent disfigurement was deleted.
Ms McMillan told the jury she thought the dog had been killed during the disturbance. She told the police as much in a 999 call recorded at 5.45 in the morning.
The witness said she had been with Hutchison and McAllister earlier and “everything was fine”
She even did Janet’s make-up for her, but then Ms McMillan’s ex, Mr Wellings, turned up to get his money and return the dog.
Ms McMillan said: “I was punched several times and was bleeding. The dog was covered in blood and I thought it was dead, but it was my blood.”
The court heard that, despite Ms McMillan’s concern, the pup escaped unscathed from the violence and she was eventually reunited with her pet.
Hutchison was jailed for more than eight years in 2004 for culpable homicide after killing a man in Motherwell.
But after he had pleaded guilty to the amended charge in the latest case, defence solicitor Kevin McCarron described a litany of health issues.
Mr McCarron said his client has been diagnosed with bloods clots on his leg and a shadow on his lung.
He also has respiratory problems and “a dependency on alcohol”.
The solicitor told Sheriff Shiona Waldron: “Custody would be more difficult for him than for a person in good health.
“As for the circumstances of this incident, there is no rational explanation.
Passing sentence, the sheriff told Hutchison: “This was a vicious assault in circumstances which were completely incomprehensible.
“You have an appalling record, including a conviction for culpable homicide, and in the circumstances there is no alternative to custody.”