Soldier suffering from PTSD fined for criminal damage

This story made me think about exactly how far the system goes to prevent this type of event occurring again.

A soldier who admitted causing criminal damage, has served in the Army for four years and has completed two tours of Afghanistan, Cwmbran Magistrates Court heard.

On his most recent tour, an armoured car in which he and other soldiers were travelling was attacked by an improvised explosive device but no one was significantly injured, district judge David Parsons told the court.

On his return to Newport, Window was in a communal area of the Queens Hotel with his girlfriend at around 2.15am on April 14, when they had an argument and he walked away.

Mark Salter, prosecuting, said he walked up to an internal fire door and began butting the glass causing it to shatter.

Huw Williams, mitigating, said since returning from active duty in Afghanistan six months previously, the defendant had been "suffering with certain issues."

Sentencing, Judge Parsons said: "It cannot be overestimated that serving in very difficult conditions will have an influence on people and it is clear to me from the letter from your mother that it has impacted on your mental health, and that had implications on your behaviour."

He gave him a conditional discharge for six months and ordered him to pay £103 for damaging the door, costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £15.

What would have been more constructive than simply ordering him to pay costs would be to order him to receive counselling for what happened to him during his tour.

Counselling for post traumatic stress is a specialist area and would enable him to address the root of his problems rather than glossing over them through the criminal justice system.