Plymouth gunners avoid jail term for GBH to serve country
A PAIR of Plymouth-based commando gunners who subjected a clubber to a savage kicking have been spared jail so they can carry on fighting for their country.
Karl Sugg and Daniel Sutton were on a night out after training when they set on victim Gary McAllen and left him with mouth injuries and seven teeth knocked out.
He tried to flee a mob of four or five men by climbing through a hedge but was grabbed and kicked so hard that an imprint of Sugg's shoe was left on his face.
Sutton was heard to shout "we done him" as the group emerged from the alley where the seriously injured man had been left with blood pouring from his mouth.
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Sugg, 24, and Sutton, 22, who serve with the 29 Commando of the Royal Artillery at Plymouth, had been drinking in Okehampton when the attack happened.
Both men were told they had escaped prison by a whisker after senior officers pleaded for them to receive suspended sentences which would enable them to continue their military careers.
Sugg and Sutton, both of the Royal Citadel in Plymouth, admitted causing grievous bodily harm in the attack a year ago. They were both jailed for 18 months, suspended for two years, ordered to do 200 hours unpaid community work and to pay £3,500 compensation and £700 costs each.
Judge Erik Salomonsen told them: "It is quite clear if I send you to prison you will lose your careers and the nation will lose your service. If you do not you will face action for bringing your regiment into disrepute.
"There is no doubt at all your conduct is disgraceful and that you have brought a fine regiment into disrepute."
Mr Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, said the incident started when Mr McAllen confronted Sugg outside the Pretoria Vaults club over an incident involving his brother.
Mr McAllen initially chased Sugg but others got involved and the victim tried to flee down an alley and was set upon.
A shoe print matching Sugg's footwear was found on his forehead and his blood found on the toe of the shoe from a kick to the face.
Mr Tom Bradnock, for Sugg, and Mr Gareth Evans, for Sutton, said they both had promising careers with their regiment. Mr Evans said: "If they go to prison they will be dishonourably discharged, with all that means. It would be a loss not just to them but to us as a community because we really need young men like this to represent the country in times of trouble."