Soldier caught up in brawl

IPSWICH: A soldier who got involved in a “three-way punch up” while out celebrating his 22nd birthday is today �350 out of pocket.

IPSWICH: A soldier who got involved in a “three-way punch up” while out celebrating his 22nd birthday is today �350 out of pocket.

Oliver Mercer, a Lance Corporal stationed at Wattisham, was out with friends in Ipswich town centre on December 10 last year.

Mercer, who had recently returned from Afghanistan, became involved in a fight outside Pals nightclub which resulted in one of his friends needing hospital treatment.

Mercer appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour.

Diane Infanti, mitigating, said: “His involvement was minimal. He was trying to stop the fight from happening but that caused him to become embroiled.

“He was trying to be the peacemaker. He is of good character and is an excellent soldier.

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“This was his first and last mistake as he is off to Afghanistan again very soon.”

District Judge David Cooper told Mercer: “You won't forget your 22nd birthday in a hurry. This was a three way punch up on a birthday night out with your colleagues. But I hope this incident does not affect your career in any way.”

Mercer was fined �250, ordered to pay costs of �85 and a victim surcharge of �15.

Do you think there is more trouble in the town centre at nights? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.