A VIOLENT thug who left a stranger brain-damaged after smashing him over the head with a bottle was today jailed for five years and three months.

Gordon Cardle, 25, attacked James Melville, 55, with a Buckfast bottle in Glasgow's Maryhill last December.

His victim suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain and had to undergo lifesaving surgery.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Cardle has previous convictions for violence, including two which involved him attacking strangers.

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As a result of the brutal assault, which caused Mr Melville to fall to the ground hitting his head, he now suffers from headaches, irritability and a change of personality.

The court heard Cardle tried to flee from police, but ran straight into a lamp-post and ended up sprawled on the ground.

Cardle pled guilty to assaulting Mr Melville to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and impairment and to the danger of life.

Mr Melville had been walking near the city's Maryhill shopping centre last December 18 prior to the unprovoked attack.

Witnesses raced out to help Mr Melville – a cleansing worker – as Cardle, of Maryhill, crouched over him.

The court heard Mr Melville needed extensive surgery and may have died without help.