Former soldier who brandished knife outside party given suspended sentence

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Richard Mullen, 36, admitted an offence of affray dating back to August 2019 and was given an eight month prison sentence suspended for 18 months. - Credit: Archant

A drunk former soldier who brandished a knife outside his home after being asked to leave a neighbour’s party has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Richard Mullen had gone back to his home in Leeks Close, Hadleigh, after being asked to leave the party because of his “disruptive” behaviour and was making a sandwich when he heard a disturbance outside, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

He had gone out of a side gate still holding the knife he was using to make the sandwich, and had waved the knife around causing a cut to the chin of a man who got him in a headlock to disarm him.

David Wilson, prosecuting, said Mullen told police he’d been drinking at home before gate-crashing the neighbour’s party.

He claimed he had been pushed out of the address where the party was being held and was at home cutting up vegetables when he heard a commotion outside. 

He told police he had gone outside still holding the knife and claimed he had then been assaulted by a number of people.

Mullen, 36, admitted an offence of affray dating back to August 2019 and was given an eight month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

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He was also ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and given a 90 day alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement and a 20 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

Matthew Bolt for Mullen said his client had been "extremely foolish” on the night in question and was “profoundly sorry”. 

“He has vowed never to come before a court again, “ said Mr Bolt.

He said Mullen had suffered concussion as a result of the incident and bitterly regretted his decision to go out of his gate.

Mr Bolt said Mullen had been medically discharged from the army four years earlier than expected and was now working as an engineer.

He said Mullen had been reduced to the rank of Corporal following an earlier incident and had not had the chance to regain his rank due to his medical discharge.

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