England

Soldiers in brutal CCTV attack avoid jail

Soldiers assaulting a man near Catterick Garrison Image copyright North Yorkshire Police
Image caption The attack on two men was caught on CCTV

Two soldiers caught on camera brutally attacking two civilians have been spared jail.

Shaun Smith, 25, and Jason Collins, 22, had been drinking on the night of the attack near their barracks at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire.

The assault, in April 2014, was caught on CCTV and showed Smith stamping on one of the victims 18 times.

He was given a 12-month sentence suspended for a year. Collins received a 12 month community order.

Judge Jamie Hill QC described the incident as "a deeply unpleasant and inexcusable incident" but accepted the men had shown "considerable" remorse.

'Alcohol-fuelled violence'

He admitted the sentences were "exceptional" and said he hoped the men would be able to continue their military careers.

Teesside Crown Court was told the soldiers alleged something was said which provoked them to attack the two civilians.

Image copyright North Yorkshire Police
Image caption Footage showed the soldiers assaulting one victim while the other lies unconscious

One victim was left unconscious as the soldiers chased the other man and began to punch and stamp on him.

Defending Smith, Richard Herrmann said: "He's an angel but on that night he was a devil."

Det Con Andy Palmer, of North Yorkshire Police, said the CCTV footage was some of the most violent he had seen.

"It is extremely fortunate that the victims in this case were not more seriously injured," he said.

"This case highlights the horrors of alcohol-fuelled violence and is even more shocking given that the defendants were, up until this incident, of good character".

In addition to his suspended jail term, Smith, was ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work.

Both him and Collins were also ordered to pay £1,000 each in compensation.

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