A MAN with an “utterly shocking offending history” is facing a prison sentence after admitting punching a man unconscious in Haddington.

Lee Rutherford, of Stoneybank Avenue, Musselburgh, was part of a group of five causing a disturbance at Market Street in Haddington in December 2018.

During the incident, Rutherford approached Scott Rowan, who had been on a Christmas night out with friends, from behind and punched him to the ground.

Mr Rowan was left “motionless” in the street before his colleagues rushed to his aid and he soon regained consciousness, where he was said to be “dazed and confused”.

He refused medical treatment at the time but when he got home his father took him to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where it was found he had bruising and swelling to his face and back.

Rutherford, 28, made off and was not traced by police until last September.

When asked about the assault, he told police: “I don’t know who that is – I have never kicked anyone in the head since I was 15 or something.”

Rutherford appeared from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to the assault.

He also admitted a second charge of acting aggressively towards homeowners in Dunbar on June 8 last year.

Prosecutor Hilary Dyer told the court that on that occasion, Rutherford was “part of a group of 20 people loitering at the locus and drinking alcohol” at about 10.15pm.

Ms Dyer said concerned residents at High Street looked out of their flat window to see what the commotion was and were spotted by Rutherford.

He then went over to the residents’ communal stair door and began waving a Buckfast bottle in the air and calling them “s**** bags”.

He was seen to be pointing up at their window and shouting and swearing at them. Rutherford then kicked the stair door before leaving the area and rejoining his friends.

Police were called in to deal with the group and Rutherford was arrested and charged.

Sheriff Gordon Liddell deferred sentence to April 3.

He noted that Rutherford had “an utterly shocking offending history over the [past] decade, all of it violent and all of it for disorder”.