Carnoustie plasterer fractured friend’s skull in argument over wine

A man was knocked unconscious with a metal pole by his friend of more than 40 years in a row over wine.

Patrick Lyons suffered a fractured skull after being attacked by David Merrigan, 55, at the home they shared on Maule Street, Carnoustie.

Dundee Sheriff Court was told how Merrigan spent the day drinking bottles of wine before launching his attack.

A prison sentence potentially looms for Merrigan after he appeared in the dock to admit his guilt.

Metal pole attack

Fiscal depute Marie Irvine explained how Merrigan and Mr Lyons paid rent for their property, which is owned by a German couple who lived above them.

The couple were in their homeland at the time of the incident and a row erupted after Merrigan demanded Mr Lyons hand over keys to their address.

Miss Irvine said: “The complainer got up from bed and found the accused drinking wine out of the bottle and heavily under the influence.

“The accused shouted at him, demanding the keys for his upstairs neighbours’ house to get more wine.

“The complainer refused to give him the keys but the accused continued to shout.”

She added: “He later heard the accused shout ‘get in here, get into my room’.

“He walked into the hallway and the accused burst out brandishing a metal pole and struck him on the head with it.”

Mr Lyons fell to the ground and remembered waking up with blood running down his face.

He managed to get to the kitchen to clean the blood and Merrigan fled the property.

Skull fracture

Paramedics attended and Mr Lyons was treated for a 10cm cut to the top of his head and a 3cm wound to the left side of his head, along with swelling.

A few days later, Mr Lyons returned to Ninewells Hospital with visibly slurred speech, headaches and dizziness.

It was later discovered he was suffering from a skull fracture.

He sustained no lasting impairment or disfigurement.

Merrigan, of Anderson Street, Carnoustie, admitted striking Mr Lyons on the head with a metal pole, causing him to lose consciousness, to his severe injury and the danger of his life on May 26 2020.

Sheriff Gregor Murray deferred sentence on Merrigan, a self-employed plasterer, until August for reports to be prepared.

He said: “I have to make it clear to you that having regard to the injuries sustained in this case, a custodial sentence is very likely.”