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Drunk soldier jailed for Warminster glassing
10:08am Monday 17th February 2014 in News
A drunk soldier who smashed a glass into the head of a bouncer after being rebuffed by a woman at the bar has been jailed.
Lewis Clews, 25, first threw the contents of his pint over the woman before hurling the glass at the doorman who stepped in to try and stop the violence.
And the sentence means the corporal, who was already serving a community order for football violence, will have to leave the forces.
Paul Grumbar, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that Tiana Morton was in the John Barleycorn pub in Warminster in the early hours of Monday November 25.
She was in a group at the bar, which included doorman Cain Griffin, when she was approached by Clews at about 1am.
"He asked Miss Morton to return to his barracks with him. She took umbrage and when he persisted she pushed him away from her," he said.
The soldier then flung the contents of his glass over her face and, seeing him raising the glass, Mr Griffin thought he was going to hit her with it.
He reached out between the two but as he did so Clews turned his on him, throwing the glass which smashed as it struck the doorman's forehead.
Mr Grumbar said the impact caused a deep one-and-a-half inch wound to his head which bled heavily.
When Clews was later arrested and questioned he said he could recall nothing of the incident, which was caught on CCTV.
Clews, of Battelesbury Barracks, pleaded guilty to common assault and causing actual bodily harm.
The court heard he was on bail at the time for football violence in his home city of Sheffield and had a previous conviction for a similar matter.
Sophie Chaplin, defending, said her client had turned to drink as he struggled to cope after two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.
Since the latest offence she said he had sought help from a psychotherapist and also had an appointment booked with the army's department of community mental health.
She told the court that were he to receive a jail term, or even a suspended sentence, then he would be dismissed from the army, having enlisted when he was 19.
"The upshot is his work through the army has caused his mental deterioration, which has impacted upon his drinking, which has impacted on his behaviour that particular evening," she said.
Jailing him for eight months, Judge Euan Ambrose said: "There is not doubt that the effects of your military service, at least on the evidence that I have seen, has had an affect upon you and that is mitigation.
"But it was you, while on bail, who chose to go out to the pub that night and to dink as heavily as you did and that was against a background of having twice that year having got yourself in trouble in drink.
"There is no doubt your mental health would have contributed to your behaviour, but it was within your power to do something about it.
"You decided not to, but to go out and behave in the way you did. Your military service does not excuse your behaviour.
"There is no satisfaction to be had in a case where a serving soldier loses his career for an act of violence.
"It is in its way a tragedy but the law must be applied properly and fairly to all that come before the courts."