Soldier attacked reveller during boozy night out

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A DRUNK soldier who was celebrating coming home after a seven-month tour of Afghanistan punched a man in the face while on a night out in Wakefield.

Rifleman Kieran Rodger, of 4th Battalion The Rifles, attacked Elliot Crawford on Westgate, Wakefield and Pontefract Magistrates’ Court heard.

Mr Crawford was treated in hospital after suffering two black eyes and a bruised nose.

Rodger, 20, had been drinking with friend Chad Bradley, who became involved in a row with his friend Mr Crawford.

Prosecutor, Diane Gomersal said Bradley punched Mr Crawford in the early hours of October 29 last year. Rodger, of Mulberry Place, Ryhill near Wakefield, then punched Mr Crawford in the face and he fell to the floor.

The court heard Rodger had been drinking and couldn’t recall the incident when interviewed by police.

Mitigating, Jon Wilkinson said: “He (Rodger) has recently returned from serving in Helmand Province.” Mr Wilkinson added: “He has served from 16 to 20 in the army. Now, as a result of internal discipline, he has a three-year promotion ban.”

Sentencing Rodger to a conditional discharge, bench chair Hazel Chowcat told him: “We know enough about what’s happening in Afghanistan to know about the impact on young people involved in that conflict.

“We accept there was a lack of premeditation, there was provocation and you are showing remorse.

“Given your role in the military and your role in Afghanistan, we are prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt.”

Bradley, also of Mulberry Place, Ryhill, was previously sentenced to a 12-month community order and 80 hours unpaid work after admitting assault,

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