Devon

Royal Marine 'blinded by soldiers' in Plymouth attack

A Royal Marine was left blind in one eye after an "unprovoked attack" by two soldiers in Devon, a court has heard.

Marine Martin Jones was assaulted near Plymouth's Oceana club in December 2010, the city's crown court was told.

Prosecutors said William Press, 26, and Alexander Thompson, 25, from the Royal Logistics Corps in Wiltshire, were caught attacking Marine Jones on CCTV.

They deny causing grievous bodily harm. The case continues.

Soldiers 'abused'

Marine Jones one of two members of 30 Commando injured during the incident.

He and his colleague, Marine Ray Simmons - who were both due to be deployed to Afghanistan - were staying in a hotel in the city because their barracks was full.

They had been on a night out and were returning to their hotel when they stopped at a burger van at about 03:15 BST.

The van's owner, Robert Mackie, said he heard shouting before the soldiers attacked the commandos, who "went to the ground very quickly", the court heard.

Marine Jones suffered damage to his right eye, six fractures to his eye socket and a fractured cheekbone.

He was later declared medically blind in the damaged eye.

Marine Simmons was left unconscious on the ground.

Prosecutor David Gittins said: "This is all about an unprovoked attack by these two defendants on two young men whilst on an evening out minding their own business."

CCTV recorded the victims being kicked and punched on the ground, he said.

The defendants were part of a 12-strong Army unit based at 9 Regiment Royal Logistics based in Chippenham, who were in the city for a one-day course at HMS Raleigh in nearby Torpoint, Cornwall.

Mr Press, from Buckley Barracks, Chippenham, and Mr Thompson, from Ashtead in Surrey, have denied charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and inflicting grievous bodily harm on Marine Jones.

In a police interview, Mr Thompson told police that he could not remember anything other than that the Marines had been "abusive towards him" and he felt threatened, the court heard.

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