Mid Wales

Soldier attacked man with spanner outside Montgomery pub

A serving soldier who was badly injured while on duty in Afghanistan has been given a 12-month community order after attacking another man with a spanner.

James Wilding, 25, from Cyfronydd near Welshpool, Powys, admitted assaulting Lee Jones outside a Montgomery pub in the early hours of New Year's Day.

Mold Crown Court heard he would be discharged from the Army if he received a suspended sentence or was jailed.

Wilding was also placed on a three-month tagged curfew.

Under the community order, he has to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard the victim went to break up a fight between two women outside the Crown pub when Wilding was seen to go to his car and pick up a spanner.

He used it as a weapon to hit Mr Jones to the head and body while a woman also delivered blows before running off.

Interviewed, Wilding said that he saw his girlfriend being assaulted and became involved to protect her.

"You were involved, and be in no doubt about it, in what can only described as a sustained, alcohol-fuelled attack during a large disturbance outside licensed premises in a rural part of Wales," Judge Niclas Parry said.

"Your actions undoubtedly exacerbated the seriousness of that violence."

He added: "You had time to consider, walking to the car and returning to the scene.

"You repeatedly struck him about the head and body with that weapon."

The judge said striking a man on the head with a weapon normally resulted in a jail term but he had taken various factors into account to decide against it.

They included being thrown out of the Army which would end the treatment Wilding received for physical and mental injuries suffered during duties in Afghanistan.