A drunken ex-soldier from Newstead who assaulted a schoolboy may have been affected by his “stressful” experiences in war zones across the world, a court was told.
Dean Eason (31), of Byron Street spent five years in the Army between 1999 and 2004, serving in Bosnia, Iraq, Macedonia and Afghanistan.
But he appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court after what was described as “a binge-drinking incident with dreadful consequences”.
Eason pleaded guilty to assaulting the 14-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, at about 1 am on Saturday 26th October.
The court heard that he had drunk “a large amount of lager”, followed by several bottles of Jagermeister, which had “tipped him over the edge”.
He was given a prison-sentence of 12 weeks, suspended for a year, during which time he must attend six sessions of a programme to control excessive drinking and must be supervised by the probation service.
District Judge Morris Cooper said: “This child must have been absolutely terrified. He was put through an ordeal that will leave a psycological scar for who knows how long.
“Drunkenness is no mitigation. My suspicion is that you have been damaged by your experiences as a soldier because your behaviour was bizarre, totally illogical and very difficult to understand.”
The court was told that the assault took place after a late-night disturbance in the street in which a man sustained facial injuries.
The boy, who was watching TV in his home at the time, went outside to help and then rang for an ambulance.
Judith Kirkham (prosecuting) explained that he ushered Mr King into his home for treatment. But Eason, came in too and “made some abusive comments” to him.
When the boy went upstairs to care for his younger sister, who was feeling sick, Eason followed him.
“Eason grabbed him round the neck, pushed him against a wardrobe and started to squeeze the boy’s neck, saying: I am going to kill you,” Mrs Kirkham said.
“Eason then bit the boy on his left cheek and only let go when the girl screamed.”
Jim Buckley (defending) said that when Eason woke up in the police station the next morning, he “was puzzled as to why he was there”.
“He is mystified, as well as disgusted, by his behaviour,” said Mr Buckley.
“It was completely out of character and he is very contrite. He would like to write to the boy to explain how sorry he is.
“He was affected by the drink, and has since referred himself voluntarily to Alcoholics Anonymous.”
Eason was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the boy, plus £85 court costs and a victim surcharge of £80.