Victim of vicious assault could be faced with sight problems

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AN ARBROATH man who was subjected to a terrifying assault by a nightclub doorman has spoken of how he could be faced with sight problems for the rest of his life.

Nicky Oliver suffered detached retinas in both of his eyes after he was attacked by John David Graham Spink in Devitos nightclub in October, 2009.

On Thursday, 39-year-old Spink of 21c Cairnie Street appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to Mr Oliver after previously admitting to carrying out the assault.

Mr Oliver had been enjoying a night out with friends in the town when they decided to visit Devitos nightclub. Spink, who no longer works as a door supervisor, was told to eject Mr Oliver from the premises but seized him, put him into a headlock and then repeatedly punched him in the head and face.

In the weeks after the attack, it was discovered he had retinal breaks in both of his eyes and he was required to undergo surgery at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee to treat the problem.

But despite the operation being a success, doctors have warned him he faces regular check ups as the retinas may detach again in the future.

He told the Herald: “I still get floaters in my eyes and as long as they don’t get worse I should be fine and my eyes should be normal, but I have to have check ups because the retinas could detach again at any time.

“Whether that be next month or in the next 10 years it could happen.”

At first it was thought Mr Oliver may have been suffering from a broken cheek or eye socket, but he was given the all clear after the swelling on his face reduced.

However, after experiencing problems with his sight, a visit to an optician prompted him to undergo surgery.

He explained: “The swelling on my face went down and the bruising was clearing up but I was seeing floaters in both eyes, more so my left eye and flashing lights when there were no flashing lights.

“I had really sore eyes along with constant headaches that pain killers never helped at all and it got that bad, I booked an appointment at Specsavers in case I needed glasses or something due to the force of the injuries.

“The lady who examined me wasn’t happy with my symptoms, although her machines never showed anything so she referred me to specialists at Ninewells and said they would be in touch.

“To my surprise I was ‘phoned five days later saying that there was a clinic in Arbroath Infirmary where two specialists were seeing patients and even though I didn’t have an appointment, they wanted to see me straight away. “Upon a lot of horrible examinations and drops the specialist told me that I had detached retinas on both eyes and to my shock. I needed an operation to fix this.

“I was admitted into hospital a few days later to receive my operation on both eyes and all went well.

“Now I just have to live my life and hope I don’t experience any more problems in the future.”

Mr Oliver added that he had hoped Spink could have received a sterner sentence than a fine but now he just wants to leave the incident behind him.

He said: “At least it is some kind of slap on the wrist and people now know what he did to me.

“But now I just want to put it behind me and hope I don’t suffer anymore.”