Northern Ireland

Injured ex-soldier avoids jail after winning appeal

A former soldier who admitted attacking a man with a glass bottle in Londonderry has avoided jail after he won an appeal against his four month prison sentence.

Jonathon Mark Spence from Foyle Crescent in Newbuildings was going through a traumatic time when he committed the offence, the court heard.

He was seriously injured three times during his five year army career.

The judge replaced the jail sentence with an 18 month probation order.

The 23-year-old was also ordered to complete 80 hours of community service and pay his victim £500 in compensation at Londonderry Crown Court.

The injured man required four stitches to a head wound following the attack in Downey's bar on 29 November.

Barrister Gordon Talbot said that at that time his client was having difficulties as a result of the serious injuries that both he and some of his army colleagues had sustained.

Mr Talbot said that Spence also had to deal with the breakdown in his parents' marriage.