An oil worker who assaulted celebrity chef Nick Nairn in Aberdeen city centre has been fined.
Scott Smith lashed out during an exchange with Mr Nairn over his “obnoxious and aggressive” behaviour towards his partner, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard yesterday.
Smith was on his way to get a taxi home after a night out when he and a friend came across Mr Nairn and Julia Forster, on Union Street. The court heard that the 35-year-old told the chef to “calm down”, but then punched him when he began shouting and swearing.
Yesterday, he admitted assaulting Mr Nairn by punching him on December 22 last year.
But last night Mr Nairn denied the claims that he had been acting aggressively “in any way” and that it was “complete nonsense”.
Defence agent Paul Barnett told the court Smith had been on a night out and was “worse for wear” when the incident happened at about 12.30am. He said: “His recollection, which is corroborated by a colleague – the exchange with the complainer and the complainer’s female companion – it was clear to them that the complainer was being obnoxious and aggressive towards the female companion.”
Mr Barnett said Smith and his friend intervened, and told Mr Nairn to “calm down”, adding that the chef began “shouting, swearing and being aggressive”.
Mr Barnett added: “It is that which has caused Smith to respond by striking him once.”
Mr Nairn – who has a restaurant and cook school on nearby Back Wynd – then fell to the ground, and appeared to have a bleeding nose.
Fiscal depute Karen Dow said members of the public rushed to help, and an ambulance was called. He suffered two black eyes and a cut to his nose.
Mr Barnett said his client recognised his response was “unacceptable”. Sheriff Raymond McMenamin fined Smith, of Carnie Way, Elrick, £900.
Last night, Mr Nairn said he was now more wary of walking about Aberdeen at night and he has opened an account with a taxi firm.
“That’s not my recollection of events. It all happened very quickly. We were walking up the street, then the guy punched me in the face. I’m not a vindictive person or malicious,” he said.
“I’m just glad it’s done and I can put it all behind me. It’s been a painful process for everybody involved.”