Student left scarred after vicious bottle attack

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Robert Thorburn pled guilty to bottling the student

By Christine Lavelle

A STUDENT was left with permanent scarring after being bottled in the face on his way home from a night out with friends in Edinburgh’s city centre.

Santhosh Manivannan, 23, was walking from the Tron Tavern in Hunter Square in the direction of High Street when he and a pal were approached by a group of males.

The pair had left the bar momentarily at around 10.30pm on March 5 this year – to see another friend off in a taxi – but were refused entry back into the pub as they were deemed to be “too drunk”.

On their way back however, they were approached by a group of men, including 20-year-old Robert Thorburn, who proceeded to shout at them, before moving in between them in a bid to split them up.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard today that Mr Manivannan was reportedly trying to calm Thorburn down when the accused threw a bottle in his face, causing it to smash.

A witness recalls seeing a group of young men making off in that area, with one of them shouting: “I think I’ve just killed that guy.”

Mr Manivannan’s friend alerted door stewards at the nearby pub, and police and paramedics turned up soon after, and the victim was taken promptly to Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary.

Procurator Fiscal Gerard Drugan said medical evidence shows he was left with a two centimetre laceration on the left side of his face just above his eye, which will leave a permanent scar.

He also had another two centimetre wound to his left cheek, but there were no fractures and he was discharged from hospital on the same night.

Thorburn plead guilty to the charge of throwing a bottle which struck his victim on the head, leaving him permanently disfigured, but his defence lawyer Ms Craig said he had thrown it in self-defence.

Ms Craig, said: “Mr Thorburn had heard a comment from someone which was ‘he’s got a knife’, and believed it to be Mr Manivannan who was in possession.

“He didn’t know for sure who it was that had the knife, and it was immediately after this that he threw the bottle, in what he believed was self-defence.”

He was also accused of causing a breach to the peace, by conducting himself in a disorderly manner and repeatedly shouting and swearing, but denied it, as well as pleading not-guilty to having an offensive weapon – the glass – in a public place.

The entire incident was captured on CCTV in Hunter Square, and Thorburn was later found and detained by police, and admitted in an interview that he was under the influence of alcohol – “but not out of his face.”

Sheriff Fiona Reith continued Thorburn’s bail until he is sentenced next month.

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