Friday, 18 October 2013

Army Boxer's Knockout Punch During Boozy Mini-Cab Row

A former soldier, who boxed for the British Army team, knocked a man unconscious with a single blow during a late-night row over a mini-cab.

William Hutton, 22, of Well Cottage, Patch Hill, Munstone, Hereford served in Afghanistan, but found himself arrested for the fourth time in two years for alcohol-related disorder.

He pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown Court to assaulting Brian Ford, causing him actual bodily harm, outside Sutton railway station on December 9, last year.

The court heard Hutton self-medicated his post-traumatic stress disorder with alcohol, and had three convictions in 2011 for disorderly behaviour.

“This was a single punch that knocked the victim unconscious and resulted in him being taken to hospital by ambulance,” Judge Stephen Waller told the defendant.

“You have experience as a boxer and a fist in these circumstances can be as serious as a weapon.

“All of this was the result of a trivial dispute over a taxi and was all your fault.

“You were drinking excessively and you acted in a reckless, violent fashion without justification.”

Prosecutor Mr. Andrew Mazibrada told the court Hutton followed-up with several more blows aimed at the prone Mr. Ford, which the defendant disputes.

The victim also applied for an additional £515 compensation to replace his clothes, which had been ruined as a result of the attack.

“The ambulance crew attended and almost all of Mr. Ford's clothing had to be cut off,” explained the prosecutor.

“Mr. Hutton was a boxer in the army, he represented he army,” said Mr. Ronald Bostwick, defending. “It was just a single punch he did not need to do anything else.

“With the Queensbury Rules in his mind he did not have to strike Mr. Ford again.

“He can fit in as a good citizen. What happened that night was an aberration in his improving control over his life, his control over alcohol and improving mental condition as the memories of Afghanistan fade bit by bit.

“This young man has served his country and he has expressed his remorse and he regrets the pain and injury that Mr. Ford subsequently suffered and has told me he is sorry for what he has done.”

Judge Waller ruled it made no difference to sentencing whether Hutton landed one or several blows and told him: “You served your country in difficult and dangerous circumstances as other young men have.

“I have read the medical reports and you are suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and sought refuge by excessive drinking and combined with a quick temper that has led you to your fourth experience before the courts.”

Hutton was sentenced to a twelve-month community order, which includes 80 hours community service work and was ordered to pay Mr. Ford £500 compensation and £250 costs.  

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