Soldier aimed kicks in town centre violence

Hester Louise Mounsey failed to get her conviction quashed at London's Court of Appeal.
Hester Louise Mounsey failed to get her conviction quashed at London's Court of Appeal.

A SOLDIER who kicked out at a man during drunken mass brawl in a town centre has avoided being sent to prison.

Gino Burnett, a serving soldier in the Yorkshire Infantry Regiment, was involved in the disturbance in Pontefract with his friend Kieran Spears.

The incident which was captured on CCTV in the early hours of March 25 last year.

Leeds Crown Court heard the pair had earlier been with a group of others to watch a Castleford Tigers rugby league match before drinking heavily.

The incident took place at a taxi rank on Corn Market following a confrontation between two groups.

Stephanie Hancock, prosecuting, told the court the incident was sparked when a “missile” was thrown and both groups engaged in violence.

Burnett and Spiers were caught on camera aiming kicks during the clash.

One man suffered facial injuries during the disturbance and needed hospital treatment but refused to make a complaint against either man.

Burnett, 22, of Northfield Avenue, Knottingley, and Spiers, 23, of Windermere Driver, Knottingley, pleaded guilty to affray.

Victoria Barker, representing both men, said Burnett faced further punishment from his superios in the army over his behaviour.

Ms Barker said Burnett would be discharged if he was sent immediately to custory.

The barrister said father-of-one Spiers was a hard working man and faced losing his job if he was jailed. Both men were given four-month prison sentences, suspended for 18 months, and were ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

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