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Paratroopers admit assaulting fellow soldier

TWO soldiers who attacked another have been ordered to pay him compensation.

TWO soldiers who attacked another have been ordered to pay him compensation.

At Aldershot Magistrates' Court on Tuesday Cpl Neil Payne and Cpl Adam Proud, both aged 28 and serving with 2 Bn, The Parachute Regt, admitted assaulting Robert Roberts, a Welch Fusilier, by beating him during a night out in Aldershot on May 6.

Fiona McMurray, prosecuting, said Mr Roberts had been out with friends on the night of the attack and had been walking towards a taxi rank at about 10.30pm when he was beaten by Proud and Payne.

He saw two men scuffling and assumed they were fighting each other, but moments later found himself under attack.

Punched several times by Payne and then by Proud on the chin, outside Marks & Spencer, he fell over — hitting his head on a wall on the way down.

Proud kicked him as he lay on the ground, then ran off up Union Street.

He was later caught by the police, who had found Mr Roberts. Blood was seeping from the back of his head and he had a swollen lip.

Proud admitted assault by beating immediately but Payne waited until he had seen closed-circuit television footage of the event, which was later shown in court.

Throughout the screening neither man, both wearing uniform, looked at the television.

Alfonso Dorant, defending both men, said: "They (Proud and Payne) have asked me to tell the court how ashamed they are."

He added that they "fully understood" the embarrassment they had brought on themselves, their families and their regiment.

He said Proud, whose tours of duty included Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Macedonia, accepted his actions may have been fuelled by alcohol and caused by difficulties in his relationship, but maintained he had been provoked.

Speaking for Payne, Mr Dorant said he was "shocked by his own actions" but assured the court he had been trying to remove his friend from a fight, although he accepted it had got out of control.

Proud received an 80-hour community punishment order and was ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Roberts, plus £118 costs.

Payne was fined £400 and also ordered to pay Mr Roberts £100 compensation, plus £69 costs.


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
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