Royal Marine guilty of assault on Plymouth nightclub doorman
A MARINE has been found guilty of beating a doorman after a trial at Plymouth Magistrates Court.
Martin Eccles – who was being tried in his absence – was found guilty of the charge of assaulting Jesters bouncer Khalid Magouti.
Plymouth Magistrates heard that Eccles had left the Royal Marines a couple of months ago though court records still had his address as Bickleigh Barracks, home of 42 Commando.
A second marine Christopher Stott, from Marlborough, Wiltshire, was found not guilty of the same offence.
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The case against a third marine, Christopher Duff, was withdrawn on Monday after magistrates agreed with his solicitor who successfully argued there was no case to answer.
The charges had related to an incident in the early hours of April 28 last year.
Earlier, the court had heard from Mr Stott who disagreed with prosecutor Carrie-Ann Rawlings that doorman Mr Magouti was attempting to diffuse the situation by walking backwards, away from Mr Duff.
Mr Stott said he had followed Eccles who had chased after Mr Magouti up the alleyway and onto the Octagon.
However, he denied that he had assaulted Mr Magouti after Eccles had slammed him into the wall of Maxine’s bar.
He said the reason he grabbed Mr Magouti was he said he saw him looming over Eccles and had thrown him “to get him away from the event”.
Magistrates agreed with Mr Stott’s solicitor McKenzie Robinson that the Royal Marine had used reasonable force to defend his colleague and that his client had shown the “definition of restraint” by making “not one punch, not one kick” towards the doorman.
Magistrates found Mr Stott not guilty of the charge.
However, they did not agree that Eccles had used reasonable force in attempting to detain Mr Magouti and found him guilty of the charge.
Chair of the bench, Dr Behenneh noted Eccles’ own admission to police was that he had “seen red and acted in vengeance” after, the court heard, witnessing Mr Magouti rugby tackle and punch Mr Duff.
Dr Behenneh said he could have “telephoned police, stopped a police officer or walked in the other direction” but instead Eccles had pushed Mr Magouti to the ground “without justification.”
Magistrates fined Eccles £600 and ordered him to pay £250 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. As he was currently in Afghanistan and had left the Royal Marines the court said it would attempt to contact him via his solicitor and his last known address.