Pair avoid jail after dropping sofa from roof leaving woman with fractured spine

Two men have avoided jail after a sofa they chucked from a roof landed on a beautician and left her with life-changing injuries.

Barrie Law, 27, and Lee Morrison, 33, were ordered to pay a combined total of £15,000 after the leather couch smashed into Edita Butkeviciut, 31.

She was chatting to her boyfriend on the phone outside the Nailco Nail Bar when she was hit and was left with a fractured spine, and a broken thigh and ankle.

Edita, originally from Lithuania, needed surgery and had to spend seven weeks at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary over Christmas.

Doctors put metal plates into her spine and at one point it was feared she would never walk again.

But despite this Edita, who is now training to be a bodybuilder, says she didn’t want Law or Morrison to go to jail because they already have to live with what they’ve done.

The pair, were both at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday having previously admitted the single charge of culpable and reckless conduct.

The court heard how the pair tried to remove a sofa from Law’s flat in Aberdeen in December 2019 when they made their misstep.

They opted to throw it from the roof of Nailco Nail Bar because they ‘could not find another way’ to manoeuvre it out of the property.

It was heard they had checked to see if anyone was in the area below before dropping it from a height of five metres.

But the sofa landed on Edita, causing her ‘severe injury, permanent disfigurement and impairment’, the court heard.

Fiscal depute Colin Neilson said: ‘She wasn’t aware of what happened, she woke up screaming.’

It was heard she is still unable to sit for more than 40 minutes, suffers panic attacks near tall buildings, flashbacks and has had her ability to sleep affected.

Representing Law, George Mathers said the incident would ‘haunt’ his client for the rest of his life and he was extremely sorry for his conduct.

He said: ‘When they saw the woman, he got absolutely the shock of his life.

‘He thought she was dead, he was shaken to the core. He feels so guilt-ridden about what he has done.

Representing Morrison, Debbie Ginniver said: ‘It was a catastrophic error of judgment on Mr Morrison’s part.

‘If Mr Morrison could return back to December 7 2019 he wouldn’t make the same mistake.’

Sheriff William Summers said: ‘Had it been the case that the two of you had simply dropped this sofa without taking any precautions, custody would be inevitable.

‘But I accept you took precautions, albeit entirely inadequate. To put it simply, it’s hard to imagine doing anything more culpable and reckless than dropping a sofa from a roof.’

Law was ordered to pay £12,000 in compensation and carry out 150 hours of unpaid work over 12 months.

Morrison was ordered to pay £3,000 and carry out 150 hours of unpaid work over 12 months.

In a statement released after sentencing, Edita said: ‘What happened damaged me and has affected me for life but I don’t want those men to sit in jail.

‘It was a stupid thing they did – they know that and they have to live with that.

‘But other people in the community have attacked them or isolated them and that is wrong so I don’t want to do anything to make matters worse.

‘I just want to focus on my recovery in private and move on with my life the best way I can.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Source: Read Full Article