Drunk Romford soldier spared jail after kicking takeaway customer on the ground

Chelmsford Crown Court

Chelmsford Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A drunk soldier who has been spared jail for his part in a late night takeaway attack has been told he should be “ashamed” of himself.

Joe Marchant, 25, of London Road, Romford, pleaded guilty to assault after kicking another customer on the ground outside Roosters takeaway in High Street, Colchester.

Marchant avoided a prison sentence because of an excellent military career.

The altercation occurred after a fellow solider became involved in an argument with another customer over who should be served first.

James Hutton of Stubbs Drive, Southwark, pleaded guilty to affray after causing a painful eye injury to Sam James, while, Marchant kicked Mr James’s friend Ross Gunn on the ground outside.


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Despite their exemplary army careers, Judge Emma Peters told the pair that being a soldier was “not a get out of jail free card” or automatically meant lesser sentences.

She said: “That kind of ill-discipline when drunk is a very unattractive trait in a junior officer in the army. You both have responsibility for exercising discipline on your subordinates and setting an example.

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“You are both good soldiers. Society is better if you are serving it but society also demands that you are punished.”

Marchant was fined £600, ordered to pay Mr Gunn £200 compensation and £300 prosecution costs at Chelmsford Crown Court.

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