A disabled man has been left scarred for life - and has suffered permanent damage to his left eye - after he was knocked unconscious and repeatedly punched to the head during a drink-fuelled attack in a neighbour’s home.

Perth Sheriff Court was told that Blairgowrie man Christopher Neill, who is bi-polar and suffers from fibromyalgia, was left bleeding from his eye, ear and nose and was coughing blood during the violent assault.

He has damaged nerves in his eye and suffers constant double and blurred vision, depute fiscal Lora Apostolava told Perth Sheriff Court.

And a surgeon at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital has warned him he could run the risk of “losing full sight in his left eye” if an operation went ahead to fit a plate.

Twenty-four-year-old David Burke, who has a history of violence, was jailed for 28 months after he admitted inflicting the injuries - to the victim’s severe injury, permanent impairment and permanent disfigurement.

But part of the charge which alleged that it was to “the danger of his life” was deleted.

The incident took place in Burke’s home at Glenalmond Road, Rattray, just six days before last Christmas.

Jailing him, Sheriff William Wood noted it was Mr Neill, whom he described as “vulnerable,” who had started the fight.

But he told Burke: “You could have brought it to an end.

“You hit him - and hit him hard to the head - more than once.

“He suffered severe injury and significant permanent impairment.

“There is no other way to deal with it apart from a custodial sentence.”

Ms Apostolava said that the accused and his partner had been drinking throughout the course of the day.

They argued and she returned to Mr Neill’s address about 7.30pm.

She was upset and Mr Neill went next door to “confront” the accused, who was sitting on a chair.

Burke was on top of the other man and repeatedly punched him on the face.

“Witness Neill couldn’t say exactly how many times he was struck as he blacked out and lost consciousness,” stated the fiscal.

The injured man was taken to hospital where he was found to have a large bruise to his left eye, his eyelids were swollen to the point they were “difficult to open”.

He underwent a CT scan which revealed a fracture to the facial wall of the left eye, his eye socket was fractured and he was told he needed surgery.

But another surgeon was concerned about the risk of fitting a plate and bringing the eye forward.

It would be “solely for aesthetic reasons”.

The fiscal added: “The surgery would not improve his eyesight, regardless of whether it was successful.

“He would remain partially sighted as the damage had already been done.

Surgery has been ruled out as it would cause more pain and “wouldn’t rectify anything”.

The victim’s next check-up is November 18.

Perth solicitor Paul Ralph said his client was “deeply remorseful” at the consequences of what he had done.

Following lockdown last year, Burke’s grandmother, to whom he was very close, had died and he started drinking heavily.

A friend had then died from a drug overdose and the lawyer added: “He was a man on a downward spiral and not in a good state mentally.”

Mr Ralph added: “In sobriety, Mr Burke couldn’t be a quieter individual.”

Sheriff Wood backdated the sentence to February 22, when Burke was first remanded.