A SOLDIER who launched what a judge described as an unprovoked attack on a young man in a night club – fracturing his nose – has been jailed for eight months.
Defendant Kevin Paul Lovell, 25, a member of the Welsh Guards based at Chester, had been off sick for three months and it was feared that he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder following a tour of Iraq and two tours of Afghanistan in 2008, his barrister claimed.
But Judge John Rogers QC said that the defendant had been committing offences before he served abroad.
He was now suffering from depression but the judge suggested that the problem started after he had been arrested for breaking a man’s nose in the club.
The judge, sitting at Mold Crown Court, rejected an application that sentence should be adjourned pending a psychiatric report and imposed an immediate prison sentence.
On the night of December 28, young people had been out enjoying themselves at The Liquid Nightclub in Wrexham, the judge told him.
Unfortunately for the victim and for others present, the defendant was there was well.
“You had a substantial amount to drink and decided that in some way, real or imagined, that Tomos Aled Roberts had offended you.
“You didn’t bother speaking to him. You walked straight up to him and hit him in the face and when he got up you punched him again. He went down again.”
The victim suffered a fractured nose and for others present at the time it must have been a distressing experience.
The judge said that the defendant was 25 and unfortunately had a relevant previous conviction.
In February 2006 he had walked up to somebody who the defendant thought had pushed his sister and head-butted him.
IN 2007 he had been part of a large group of people who had caused large scale disorder in Wrexham.
“In my judgement, this offence was a totally unprovoked attack o another man resulting in him suffering a fracture of the nose. This case crosses the custody threshold.”
The judge sad that in mitigation, the defendant had pleaded guilty, and it was right to say that he had been a loyal and competent member of the Welsh Regiment.
However, it seemed highly likely that the army would dispense of his services in any event, whether or not he had received a custodial sentence.
Prosecutor Sandra Subacchi told how the victim had been walking on the dance floor when suddenly and for no reason whatsoever, he was approached by the defendant and punched to the face.
He stumbled backwards and ended up in a crouched position on the floor but as he tried to get up, he was punched to the nose.
The victim recalled lying on the floor shaken and dazed and it was later revealed that his nose was fractured and had to be manipulated into place.
The assault had knocked the victim’s confidence. He had worked behind the counter in the Job Centre but had since been moved to a job in the back office.
He no longer socialised in the town centre, felt that when he went out he needed to be accompanied, and found it difficult to come to terms with what had happened. He asked himself “why me?”
In his interview, the defendant claimed that the victim had danced behind his wife in what was a provocative manner.
But Michael Jones, defending, said that his client suffered from paranoia and said that may well have explained why the offence was committed.
Mr Jones said that Lovell, of Harrington Road, Moston, Chester, had been in the army for seven years, since he was 18.
At present, he and his wife lived in army barracks property and he was still a soldier, but he had been off sick with depression for three months and had seen a psychiatrist twice.
The defendant wanted help and it was believed that his depression had got worse since he returned from Afghanistan. There had been on-going difficulties for some time, said Mr Jones.
Lovell had admitted what he had done, fully accepted his responsibilities, but Mr Jones said that he would be vulnerable in custody.