A CHEF who lost his job after the fatal fire at Cameron House Hotel last year has been jailed for carrying out a vicious and sustained assault on another man.

A court was told Craig Wilson’s life had gone “off the rails” after the tragic blaze, which led to him losing his job, then his home, and now his liberty.

Wilson and a second accused, Callum Woods, appeared in the dock at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday for sentencing after pleading guilty to carrying out the violent attack in Balloch earlier this year.

The pair, both aged 23, kicked their victim when he was on the ground and booted and stamped on his head.

Wilson and Woods, described in court papers as inmates at Barlinnie and Low Moss prisons respectively, were each jailed for more than two years for the attack.

And they will both be closely supervised for a further 12 months when they’re eventually released from prison.

The two thugs carried out the brutal and sustained attack on May 30 on Balloch Road, at Balloch railway station and on Tullichewan Road.

The charge admitted by the pair stated that they knocked their victim to the ground, repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on his head and body, and then repeatedly hit him on the head and body with a sock filled with an unknown object.

Woods also admitted being in possession of an offensive weapon in Tullichewan Road.

After being taken to Clydebank police office, Woods also assaulted a female police officer by pushing her up against a wall.

The pair also admitted breaching two bail orders imposed on them – the first put in place on December 13, 2017, and the second on May 24, just six days before the attack.

Wilson's solicitor Brian McGuire said: "Very foolishly he joined in and is going to pay the penalty for that.

"He is a 23-year-old single man, who has had a difficult background.

"He left school with qualifications and was a chef, but lost his job because of the fire at Cameron House Hotel.

"This led on to him losing his tenancy and he ended up in the Blue Triangle project for the homeless.

“He felt a sense of hopelessness and went off the rails and started drinking.

"He was knocked down by a car when he was five years old and suffered a brain injury.

"Had he not lost his job at the time he did he would be employed and unlikely to be standing here in court today."

Defence lawyer Lauren Kerr, representing Woods, said: "He received a sentence on July 20 and is due for release today, but he appreciates he is going to receive a lengthy custodial sentence.

"There was a suggestion that there had been another incident before the one that my client was involved in.

“It was believed the complainer had a can, so [Woods] took it upon himself to arm himself with a weapon.

"It was very much over the score and he should not have behaved in that manner.

“He had consumed a great deal of alcohol. He would welcome a supervised release order to prevent temptations to falling back into his previous ways.

"He has been using his time in custody to good effect, and has been completing his education to effectively give himself a new start when he gets out of prison."

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry told the two thugs: "It was an atrocious incident.

“It was horrendous and only by the lap of the Gods did this man survive.

“It could have been anything from a minor to a major injury or he could have been killed."

Woods was ordered to serve 32 months behind bars, while Wilson – whose court appearance came two days after his 23rd birthday – was caged for 26 months.

Both men will also be placed on 12-month ‘supervised release orders’ when they’re released from prison.