Army man avoids custody

AN ARMY dental technician who carried out an unprovoked attack on a university student has walked free from court after a judge heard that a prison sentence could ruin his career.

AN ARMY dental technician who carried out an unprovoked attack on a university student has walked free from court after a judge heard that a prison sentence could ruin his career.

Samuel Osbourne was walking along Garrison Lane, Felixstowe on Christmas Eve chatting to his girlfriend on his mobile phone when Mark Scott, who was walking in front of him, turned round and asked if Mr Osbourne had a problem with him, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Without any warning Scott had then punched Mr Osbourne in the face with such force that Mr Osbourne fell to the ground, said Godfried Duah, prosecuting.

He said that as a result of the attack Mr Osbourne suffered a 3cm cut under his eye which had left a permanent scar and he was also found to have a broken nose.


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Scott, 23, of St Andrew's Road, Felixstowe admitted assaulting Mr Osbourne causing him actual bodily harm.

Sentencing him to 240 hours unpaid work in the community Judge David Goodin said Scott had come “very close” to being sent to prison.

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“Your record is such that you have a great deal to offer to the army and therefore to your country,” said the judge.

He described the attack on Mr Osbourne as “vicious” and “unprovoked”.

In addition to the unpaid work order Scott was ordered to pay �2,000 compensation to Mr Osbourne and �1,200 prosecution costs.

Hugh Vass for Scott said his client had no previous convictions and at the time of the attack had a genuine but mistaken view that he was going to be assaulted when Mr Osbourne came up “right behind” him.

“It may well have been that Mr Osbourne may have been overly concentrating on the conversation with his girlfriend,” said Mr Vass.

He accepted the attack on Mr Osbourne was unprovoked and that Mr Osbourne had done nothing to justify what happened to him.

Mr Vass said Scott's behaviour was entirely out of character and gave details of a five month tour of duty undertaken by his client in Iraq during which he had come under mortar attack.

He said that if Scott received a prison sentence or a suspended prison sentence it was virtually inevitable that he would be dismissed from the army.

Mr Vass added that as well as being sentenced by the court Scott also faced disciplinary proceedings by the army.

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