A German visitor to Scotland nearly died after suffering a fractured skill in an attack during a night out.
Benno Orschulik was left with hearing loss following the assault on George Street, Edinburgh.
He had been in the city for a conference and was due to fly home a few hours after the attack on December 3 last year.
Ethan Baker-Blake, 22, admitted assaulting Mr Orschulik to the danger of his life when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday.
Fiscal depute Aidan Higgins said the victim and others from the conference went to the Opal Lounge nightclub before leaving around 2am.
As they walked along George Street they saw Baker-Blake and a woman arguing.
The court heard the attacker was drunk, aggressive and holding the woman's arm.
Mr Orschulik asked the man to let go and Baker-Blake told him not to get involved or he would "hurt him".
When Mr Orschulik did not move away, Mr Higgins said Baker-Blake "flung out his arm striking Mr Orschulik on the face with his elbow".
He fell and struck his head on the ground, and was seen to be bleeding from the ear.
The victim was found to have suffered a fractured skull and blood clotting, with neurosurgeons saying his life was at risk.
The court was told he later had to undergo occupational therapy but has permanent impairment with loss of hearing, headaches and tiredness.
Sheriff Noble deferred sentence on Baker-Blake until December 14 for a social work report, but refused bail.