A 33-year-old former soldier who had been told by a judge to “dazzle him” with good behaviour while awaiting sentence for assault has been spared jail.
Ricky Taylor persuaded the judge at Gloucester crown court that he has turned his life around since having sentence deferred last November.
Taylor, formerly of Purley Road, Cirencester, but now of Lidgett Road, Barnsley, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, pleaded guilty last year to assaulting a man on July 25 last year and causing him actual bodily harm.
When Judge Ian Lawrie QC deferred sentence he told Taylor this was his chance to “dazzle” him with good behaviour and prove he deserved another chance.
During the deferment, Taylor was asked to engage with mental health and alcohol services, not to commit any further offences, gain stable employment and save £500 to cover costs and compensation.
Taylor arrived at court with evidence that he had complied with all the conditions laid down by the judge.
Prosecutor James Haskell told the court that the assault happened on the evening of July 25, in Kings Square, Gloucester when both men had been heavily drinking in the Regal pub.
“The complainant struck Mr Taylor and Mr Taylor punched him. He falls to the floor and Mr Taylor proceeds to stamp on him. He walks away but turns and strikes him again while he seems unconscious,” Mr Haskell told the court.
Defending Taylor, Matthew Harbinson told the court that it wasn’t a “completely unprovoked attack.”
“He has completed all of the conditions set out and has provided evidence. He was told at the time the court would look favourably on him if he completed those conditions,” Mr Harbinson said.
“There was a degree of provocation, he didn’t throw the first punch. They were also both heavily intoxicated. That does not excuse it. He regrets his actions and has shown genuine remorse.”
“He has now relocated to the Barnsley area, working as a bricklayer and he and his partner, are expecting their first child together.”
Mr Harbinson said having done all that is asked of him he is “now a very different person than he was in the summer of last year. He says he was self medicating with alcohol to deal with the effects of being in the forces.”
Sentencing in the absence of Judge Lawrie, Recorder Kate Brunner QC told Taylor she would not be sending him to prison but would suspend his ten month sentence for a year as well as ordering him to do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £250 in costs and £250 in compensation to his victim.
“It is notable that you were attacked first but after that you behaved in a way that you accept was criminal,” she said
“It is almost certain this would have been an immediate custodial sentence but you have complied with all of the conditions set out so I am going to suspend your sentence.”