A HADDINGTON man has pleaded guilty to a much-reduced charge of assaulting a man at Seton Sands Holiday Park.

Gerard Friel was originally facing charges of threatening to kill Stefan Koychev and to striking him with a hard hat and a knife at the holiday park last year.

Friel, of Hope Park, was originally said to have repeatedly struck the Bulgarian national to the body, hand and face with the blade at the park, near Port Seton.

The 47-year-old had maintained his innocence until moments before his trial was due to start at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Tuesday.

But he decided to accept an amended charge of assaulting Mr Koychev with the hard hat only, which had been offered by the Crown as an acceptable plea.

A second allegation of possessing a knife was dropped after the Crown accepted Friel’s not guilty plea.

Friel admitted to attacking Mr Koychev by repeatedly striking him to the head with the hard hat at Seton Sands Holiday Centre on September 14 last year. He will return to court on August 7 to be sentenced.