UK soldiers 'admit New York fight with policeman'

New York police car A New York police officer was punched and had his phone stolen, according to reports

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Four British Army soldiers have admitted being involved in a fight with an off-duty New York policeman, the Associated Press (AP) is reporting.

The soldiers in the Royal Regiment of Scotland, who were in the US on a rugby tour, were arrested after the brawl outside a New York city bar in August.

AP says the victim's report says he was punched and his phone was taken.

The four were sentenced in the US to community service and fined. They also face punishment by the Army.

Cuts and bruises

The off-duty officer suffered a broken nose, swollen jaw, a large cut to his neck, bruises and a cut inside his mouth requiring stitches, according to a police report.

The NYPD has previously told the BBC that one of the soldiers required stitches to an injury.

Documents filed with the New York Criminal Court showed that one of the soldiers, Thomas Shute, was fined $500 (£313) and fees of $250 (£157).

He was also sentenced to five days of community service and given a one-year conditional discharge after admitting misdemeanour assault.

Court records also showed that Ratu-losefo Yavala pleaded guilty on Friday to misdemeanour assault and petty larceny, according to AP.

Mosese Kurulala and Iliakini Raderua pleaded guilty to violations, which are not crimes under US law, AP added.

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said: "All those who are found to fall short of the Army's high standards or who are found to have committed an offence under the Armed Forces Act are dealt with administratively (up to and including discharge) or through the discipline process, as appropriate.

"We have a common law and Data Protection Act duty to protect the personal information of our employees and, as such, we are not prepared to release any personal information relating to this case."

The four were Fijian nationals believed to be in New York to play a rugby match against the NYPD at the Mystic River Rugby Club in Boston.

Two other soldiers, Joeli Raduva and Filipe Vunisarati, were also charged after the 4am fight in the Murray Hill neighbourhood on 30 August, but it is unclear whether they have been released or face a hearing.

The MoD said all six were from the 1 Scots battalion - formerly known as the Royal Scots Borderers - part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

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