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Soldier Stephen Leonard Brownlee fined for late-night street attack
A SOLDIER has been given a fine for a night time attack on Wey-mouth seafront.
Stephen Leonard Brownlee admitted a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to an incident on The Esplanade in June 2011 that left his victim Tony Kitchener with cuts and bruises to his face.
The 22-year-old tank crewman with the Queen’s Royal Hussars stationed in Ger-many, was also charged with a more serious charge of attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm but denied the offence and was cleared following a trial at Dorchester Crown Court.
The court was told Brownlee and a fellow soldier had got into an argument with Mr Kitchener at around 4am on the night of the offence and the defendant admitted knocking his victim to the floor as he was concerned he may be struck himself.
Brownlee accepted he then kicked and stamped at Mr Kitchener on the floor but claimed he did not use full force and only did it to stop him getting up and allow himself to get away.
Robert Pawson, prosecuting, said Mr Kitchener suffered some loss of hearing as a result of the attack and as of January this year was still having problems with his memory.
Andrew Hope, representing Brownlee, said his client – who had been on a pre-deployment training course at Bovington at the time of the offence ahead of a tour to Afghanistan – had never been before the courts before.
He added: “It was a case ultimately of excessive force being used in self defence.”
Mr Hope added that Brownlee, originally from Raleigh Street in Belfast, had only ever wanted to serve his country in the Army and would be ‘devastated’ if he received a custodial sentence as it would signal the end of his military career.
He said his client had not been in any trouble since the offence and scarcely drank at all anymore.
Judge Roger Jarvis fined Brownlee £750 for the offence and ordered that he pay £1,500 in compensation to Mr Kitchener as well as a victim surcharge of £15.