Rugby hopeful lost eye after attack in Aberdeen

Published

A rugby player's hopes of representing Scotland ended when he lost an eye after an attack in Aberdeen, a court had heard.

Aparangi Hemara, 27, whose grandmother was Scottish, had won two caps with the New Zealand Maoris.

Aaron Mackie, 19, of Aberdeen, has gone on trial at the High Court in Livingston after denying attacking Mr Hemara in October last year.

The court heard surgeons had to remove Mr Hemara's left eye.

The victim told the court something happened in Aberdeen's Union Street, although he had no clear memory, and he woke up in hospital with a "horrific pain" in his eye.

Doctors feared that an infection in his retinal nerve would spread to his other eye and leave him completely blind.

Mr Hemara said: "They advised me that I should have the eye removed because there was a risk of me losing vision in my right eye as well. I agreed to the operation."

He had not gone on to join New Zealand's national team, The All Blacks, which would have disqualified him from playing for another country.

He had hoped to continue playing high-level rugby and eventually bid for a place in the Scotland team, but the injury ruled that out.

The trial continues.

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