Three people fined after ex-soldier injured in an "unpleasant episode of public disorder"
By Court reporter | 27th November 2019
Two men and a woman from Lydney have been banned from the Rising Sun pub for a year and ordered to do unpaid community work after an 'unpleasant episode of public disorder' in which a vulnerable ex-soldier was injured.
Linda Jones, 51, and her 53 year old husband Barry Jones, of Bream Road, Lydney, together with Christopher Edwards, 33, of Mount Pleasant, Lydney, all pleaded guilty at Gloucester crown court to a charge of affray.
They had originally been charged with assaulting Nicholas Milner at the Rising Sun at Moseley Green on July 7th last year causing him actual bodily harm.
They all denied that charge and elected trial by jury at Gloucester crown court but at a hearing last week their pleas to an alternative charge of affray were accepted.
Today prosecutor Janine Wood told the court that Mr Milner, a vulnerable 51 year old, was watching a world Cup football match on the pub's big screen when Mrs Jones approached the former soldier to speak to him at about 8.15pm.
"He told her to leave him alone but she kept pestering him. She would not leave him alone and he got so annoyed that he contacted his carer" said the prosecutor.
"Mr Milner left the pub a short while later and Mrs Jones followed him into the car park. He said that she challenged him and attacked him, which resulted in cuts and bruises.
"Mr Jones and Edwards arrived and joined in the scuffle, during which Mr Milner suffered a ripped shirt and he received a punch to the right side of his face."
The court was told that Mr Milner, who served in Northern Ireland and Germany, suffers a brain injury and that following the incident he has been left him feeling 'very vulnerable.' He said he felt victimised by Mrs Jones' actions but stated this wasn't because of his disability.
Mrs Wood added: "Mrs Jones accepted that she had been drunk and abusive."
Greg Gordon, defending Edwards, told the court: "My client walked over in an attempt to calm the situation down, but got involved. This was an unseemly drink related incident."
Graham Wallis, for Mr and Mrs Jones, said: "There was something aside from Mr Milner's disability that sparked this outbreak of public disorder. Both Mr and Mrs Jones admit they were drunk at the time."
Judge Ian Lawrie QC commented: "This is a fracas. It is unseemly and all had been drinking. It is obvious that something sparked this unpleasant episode of public disorder."
Judge Lawrie sentenced all three to a 12 month community order that requires them each to do 75 hours of unpaid work. He also banned them from entering the Rising Sun pub for a year.
The judge also sentenced all three to pay compensation of £300 and court costs of £340 and a victim surcharge of £90. He ordered that the charge of assault causing actual bodily harm charge would lie on the court file and not be proceeded with.
Judge Lawrie said to all three defendants: "You eventually pleaded guilty to affray. You should all know better than indulge in this sort of thing.
"It's time to wake up. You cannot behave in such a way. Sober up and grow up.
"This has proved to be an expensive night out for you all."
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