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Ex-soldier used chair to hit woman twice

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AN Afghanistan war veteran has been fined £1,500 after being convicted of twice striking a woman with a chair.

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Former soldier Wayne Watson (26), of Wellington Road, committed the grave and criminal assault in Seymour Hotels Group staff accommodation in James Road, St Saviour, on 19 March.

However, the judge accepted that the defendant had himself been the victim of an assault, as another person had stamped on his head while he was sleeping on the floor in the middle of the night and he had initially acted in self-defence.

Advocate Paul Nicholls, defending, said that at trial the judge found that Watson struck the woman twice with the leg of a chair, but his actions were reckless rather than intentional. The trial also found that he pushed her out of the room.

The lawyer submitted that the contact was not particularly hard and the injuries sustained were ‘relatively minor’.

Advocate Nicholls said that the defendant was a man of good character who had served in the military and done a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Watson was medically discharged from the Army in 2015 as a result of a spinal injury resulting from an accident.

The court heard that if the defendant lost his job, he might have to return to the UK.

In sentencing, Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris said that the incident started because Watson was a victim of an assault by a different person and that the action he initially took amounted to self-defence.

However, he said that when ‘waving a chair around there is always going to be a risk that someone gets hurt’. Mr Harris said that pushing the woman out of the room was ‘understandable’, but pointed out there was also a punch thrown.

‘Although it is grave and criminal assault, weighing up all of the matters, I feel I can deal with this by way of a financial penalty,’ he said.

As well as being fined, Watson was also ordered to pay £500 towards prosecution costs.

Richard Heath

By Richard Heath
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