Soldier fined for thuggish behaviour

A SOLDIER from Ipswich who endured a “traumatic” operational tour of Afghanistan is today heavily out of pocket after he admitted punching and kicking a man during a booze-fuelled night out.

A SOLDIER from Ipswich who endured a “traumatic” operational tour of Afghanistan is today heavily out of pocket after he admitted punching and kicking a man during a booze-fuelled night out.

Lance corporal Darren Wood, of the Parachute Regiment, over-reacted when trouble flared during an evening out in Colchester.

The 25-year-old punched his victim repeatedly until he fell to the floor before kicking him in the head and body during the attack on July 6.

The victim was left with severe grazing, swelling and bruising across his body.


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Mark Hensall, for Wood, told Colchester Magistrates' Court his client had been provoked into carrying out the assault, but had overstepped the mark.

“He drank too much and was attacked but he clearly over-reacted,” he said.

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“He is very high calibre heavy infantry and has been in very traumatic operational conditions.

“He had to be pulled out of Afghanistan early because of this court appearance.”

Wood, of Laud Mews, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court was told his conviction would lead to a separate course of disciplinary action within the army.

“They will look seriously at whether he can be retained in the armed services,” said his solicitor.

District judge David Cooper described Wood's actions as “tiresome”.

“This thuggish behaviour reflects so badly on his regiment,” he said.

“It's utterly dismal behaviour by a man who should have the self discipline not to behave in this was in the town centre.”

Wood was fined £1,200, and was ordered to pay compensation of £500, costs of £60 and a victim surcharge of £15.

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