An 18-year-old Good Samaritan has told how a man he tried to help beat him so savagely his own mother thought he was dead.
Angus Gallagher had 13 skull fractures, three broken fingers, fractured ribs and eardrum damage and needed a titanium plate behind his right eye after the assault by 25-year-old Brian Ramsay.
His family reacted with fury today as Ramsay, who dragged the teenager to his house to continue his attack, was jailed for 18 months – and he could be free in just six.
He was walking home from a night out with friends in nearby Gorebridge in October when he discovered Ramsay lying on his back in a petrol station forecourt.
The young mechanic helped him to his feet, took him to a shop to get some food and then helped him across the road – but then Ramsay unexpectedly turned on him.
He subjected Angus to a brutal and sustained assault in the street before dragging him to a nearby house where he attacked him again.
Shocked neighbours heard the attack and called police, who found the teenager lying unconscious in the street.
‘He just turned on me,’ said Mr Gallagher. ‘My mind went a bit blank and all I thought was “I should protect myself as much as I can”.
‘He must have realised what he had done because he dragged me to his house to get me cleaned up. Then he hit me again in the garden and I have no recollection after that.’
The teenager spent a week in hospital, where doctors discovered he had suffered such bad damage to his right eye that he had to have a titanium plate implanted behind his eyebrow.
The youngest of three boys, he woke up in a hospital bed disorientated and disfigured.
‘I was really confused when I woke up,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t open my eyes as they were swollen shut.
‘It has changed everything. You get all paranoid. I try to avoid going out on my own at night now. It would definitely make me think twice about helping somebody now.’
Mrs Gallagher said: ‘My husband and I are totally shocked and think it’s disgusting.
‘I don’t know the definition of a long time but 18 months doesn’t seem to be very long. It’s not justice. He was only helping someone and this was his reward.’