Men who seriously injured beautician after dropping sofa from roof avoid jail

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Two men permanently disfigured and seriously injured a beautician after dropping a sofa on her from a roof, a court has heard.

Barrie Law, 27, and Lee Morrison, 33, hurled the sofa from the top of a building while trying to move it out of a flat in Aberdeen, Scotland, in December 2019.

As the couch fell, it landed on Edita Butkeviciute, knocking her out and seriously injuring her spine, lungs, and legs.

The 31-year-old, originally from Lithuania, said she felt "lucky to be alive" and was "in pain every day" following the incident at Nailco Nail Bar on Union Street on 7 December 2019.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told the Law and Morrison were trying to move the settee from a flat but had struggled to get it through a doorway.

Instead, they pushed it through a window and onto the roof. The men then looked to see if there was anyone below before pushing it over the side.

But Ms Butkeviciute had walked into its path after nipping out of the salon where she worked to make a phone call.

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She was instantly knocked out by the sofa, but later woke screaming and paralysed.

Ms Butkeviciute suffered multiple injuries that required surgery. She told the court she continues to suffer from pain, flashbacks, and panic attacks.

But despite saying the pair were "stupid", she did not want them to go to jail.

George Mathers, for Law, said his client's actions would "haunt him for the rest of his life".

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Debbie Ginniver, for Morrison, said he felt "dreadful" about the incident, describing it as "a catastrophic error of judgement".

Sheriff William Summers said he couldn't think of anything more "culpable and reckless than dropping a sofa from a roof".

"You simply should not have done this and your actions are inexcusable," he said.

The sheriff added that if no precautions had been taken at all, then a prison sentence would have been inevitable.

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Barrie Law, 27, and Lee Morrison, 33, who pleaded guilty to culpable and reckless conduct.

As an alternative to prison, Sheriff Summers ordered Law to pay compensation of £12,000 and Morrison £3,000.

They must also carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and will be supervised for 18 months.

Ms Butkeviciute added that she now wanted to "move on with my life".

"I could have died that day, so I really do feel blessed," she said.

  • Courts
  • Crime
  • Scotland

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