Soldiers jailed for Plymouth marine blinding attack

Two soldiers who blinded a Royal Marine in an attack have been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm.

Alexander Thompson, 25, and William Press, 26, from the Royal Logistic Corps in Wiltshire, were jailed for eight years and six years respectively.

They were found guilty of joint charges of attacking Marine Martin Jones and another marine outside a Plymouth nightclub in December 2010.

Both attackers face losing their Army careers, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Marine Jones, in his 20s, and Marine Ray Simmons, of Plymouth-based 30 Commando, were staying in a hotel prior to being deployed to Afghanistan because their barracks was full, the court was told.

Punched on ground

Press, from Ashstead, Surrey, and Thompson, from Wiltshire, were part of a 12-strong unit on a one day course at HMS Raleigh in nearby Torpoint, Cornwall.

The two marines had been out for the night to a casino and nightclub and were on their way back to the hotel when they stopped to buy some food from a burger van.

Prosecutor David Gittins said CCTV picked up the victims being kicked and punched on the ground.

Mr Gittins told the jury Marine Simmons suffered bruising and swelling but Marine Jones was "kicked in the right eye, probably by Thompson".

In a police interview Press made no comment but Thompson admitted he was drunk and had no excuse for what he had done.

Press told the jury he was "devastated" at the prospect of losing his Army career.

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