Three jailed for savage attack on autistic man with tattoo gun and bottle - busted boasting on Snapchat

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A callous gang who filmed themselves attacking a vulnerable man by tattooing him and inserting a bottle into his anus as he lay sleeping have been jailed.

Aaron McLauchlan, 23, used a tattoo gun to permanently mark the autistic man’s knuckles with large black dots following a drinking session at a home. And cousins Karly Donald, 23, and Keiran Donald, 24, savagely assaulted the victim by inserting a glass bottle into him while he lay drunk on a couch at a property in Mayfield.

Shocking footage of both assaults were filmed by the gang on their mobile phones and then sent to pals on Snapchat in November 2021, our sister site the Edinburgh Evening News reports. The three attackers were subsequently snared after one disgusted friend viewed the footage and reported the incidents to the police. McLauchlan, from Gorebridge, Midlothian, pleaded guilty to assaulting the man by tattooing the man to his injury and permanent disfigurement when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

Karly Donald, from Port Seton, East Lothian, and Keiran Donald, from Gorebridge, admitted assaulting the victim while he was asleep by penetrating his anus with a glass bottle to his injury at the same hearing. They returned to the dock for sentencing on Thursday where Sheriff Kenneth Campbell KC said: “The offences you have pled guilty to involve the abuse of a vulnerable man. It may have been alcohol was involved, but that is context not an excuse.

“In dealing with this matter I take account the social work reports which have been made available to me and the submissions of your solicitors. I am satisfied in the circumstances of the offences a custodial sentence is called for.” All three accused were jailed for 12 months.

Aaron McLauchlan, 23, and Keiran Donald, 24, admitted the charges against themAaron McLauchlan, 23, and Keiran Donald, 24, admitted the charges against them
Aaron McLauchlan, 23, and Keiran Donald, 24, admitted the charges against them

Lawyer Jonathan Campbell, for McLauchlan, said a friend had brought the tattoo gun to the party and his client had “followed the crowd” by assaulting the victim. Solicitor Calum Turner, representing Karly Donald, said she had experienced “peer pressure to get involved” and was “ashamed at her part” in the attack with the bottle. And Philip Templeton said his client Keiran Donald has shown “regret and remorse” at what was “an extremely unpleasant and distasteful incident”. He added the drunken attack had only lasted around 10 seconds and was “not premeditated”.

Previously the court heard the three attackers befriended the vulnerable man following the death of his mother and began attending drinking sessions together in several houses in Midlothian. Fiscal depute Graeme Clark said the first incident occurred when the victim was drinking alcohol with McLauchlan and several others at a property in Gorebridge, Midlothian, on November 7, 2021.

The man woke the following morning and became “aware of tattoos in the form of a black dot on each knuckle of his right hand” which he had no recollection being done. McLauchlan then sent a Snapchat video showing him with “a tattoo gun and [the victim’s hand]”.

The prosecutor said the second attack took place two weeks later and saw the victim, who is in his 30s, fall asleep on a couch after drinking alcohol at a property in Midlothian. Mr Clark said: “At some point during the night Karly Donald and Keiran Donald pulled down [the man’s] trousers while he was lying sleeping face down on a sofa. Karly Donald thereafter held [the man’s] buttock cheeks apart and Keiran Donald inserts the bottle into [the man’s] anus.”

The court was told friends of the two attackers also received Snapchat footage of the shocking incident and Karly Donald later said she carried out the assault “for a laugh”. Mr Clark said the next day the victim complained of having a sore back and was “struggling to walk”.

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