Warning as two squaddies jailed for14 years for Royal Marines attack
TWO soldiers have been sent to prison for a total of 14 years for a "brutal attack" on two Royal Marines.
Alexander Thompson and William Press, both 26, were found guilty by a jury of inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm with intent and a second count of attempting to inflict GBH with intent.
They were caught on CCTV footage attacking Stonehouse based marines Martin Jones and Ray Simmons outside a burger van on Barbican Approach after a night out on December 2, 2010.
As a result Mr Jones was blinded in one eye sustaining several broken bones in his face and Mr Simmons was knocked unconscious. Mr Jones said in a victim impact statement: "One of the most upsetting things for me was a few days after, my senior officer told me I would not be able to go to Afghanistan with my friends and colleagues – I recall lying in bed crying. All I wanted to do was be a Royal Marine and through no fault of my own my career is now over."
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The defendants had that day been on a one-day course at HMS Raleigh with their Army regiment, 9 royal Logistic Corps.
Press, a father-of-one who grew up in Plymouth, was given credit for his early guilty pleas in relation to the attack on Mr Simmons. He was given six years for inflicting GBH with intent and four years for attempting GBH on Mr Simmons, to run concurrently.
Thompson, of Surrey who psychologists said had moderate Post Traumatic Stress at the time of the incident, received eight years for the attack on Mr Jones and four years for attempting GBH with intent.
Recorder Geoffrey Still, said: "This was a really brutal and unprovoked attack of such violence that within seconds both victims were on the ground defenceless and at your mercy. The injury to Mr Jones is life and career changing. Twelve years imprisonment is the [sentencing] starting point which from now on should be well known to young men in Plymouth looking for a fight. It was an adrenaline and alcohol fuelled onslaught with GBH written all over it right from the start."
The Recorder said the mitigating factors that reduced their sentences were their exemplary service records, lack of a weapon, good characters and in Thompson's case PTSD.
DC Matt Wood, the officer who investigated the case, said after the sentencing that "young men wishing to commit assaults" in Plymouth "will be dealt with accordingly."
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