Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Boy detained over attack on Afghan bomb blast soldier

A 16-year-old boy who carried out an unprovoked attack on a soldier recovering from Afghanistan bomb blast injuries has been detained.

The youth, who has not been named, was looking for a fight in Cowes, Isle of Wight, when he punched Pte Jamie Laws, the island's Newport Youth Court heard.

Pte Laws, 22, of the Royal Regiment of Scotland in Canterbury, was unable to defend himself, the court was told.

The boy received a six month detention order after admitting assault.

The court heard how the teenager was wearing motorcycle gloves with carbon fibre knuckles, described by a witness as "dangerous", as he tried to provoke a fight by goading and baiting members of the public.

'Fragile state'

Hayley Porter-Straw, prosecuting, told how the youth then attacked Pte Laws, who had recently been repatriated from Afghanistan for emergency surgery.

Pte Laws had lost the full use of his hand following the blast, the court heard.

Ms Porter-Straw said: "He punched an innocent passer-by in a completely unprovoked assault causing Mr Laws to spin around and collapse on the floor.

"The defendant returned minutes later and attacked him again, leaving him with a cut above the eye, bruising and blood loss."

The defendant was heard to tell friends, "I've just done this matey in, I've done him", the court heard.

Ms Porter-Straw added: "Mr Laws was in a fragile state emotionally and physically as a result of the traumatic events he experienced in Afghanistan."

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