A SOLDIER who smashed a man’s jaw during a night out has been spared jail to save his career.
Derby Crown Court heard how victim Brett Green was leaning on a lamp post after a night out and Christopher Hancock launched an attack which was captured on video.
The video revealed Hancock, who has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, felling Mr Green with one punch then raining more down on him.
Hancock, who was on leave from the 9/12 Lancers, admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Green whose jaw was fractured in two places and he needed surgery on his nose and has suffered kidney problems from morphine treatment.
Recorder Tim Spencer QC gave 22 year-old Hancock, of Hunloke Road, Chesterfield, a two-year conditional discharge for the attack in August and hoped the sentence would persuade the Army not to discharge him. Hancock was also ordered to pay £1,500 compensation.
The recorder told him: ”You’re an exceptional soldier who has achieved rapid promotion. You have put your life on the line on many occasions in the service of your country. You exemplify qualities which are praiseworthy which make citizens proud and make me proud.
“In a different situation, I would impose a custodial sentence and would have suspended it. But that would place your career in jeopardy.”
Richard Thatcher, prosecuting, said Mr Green had been abusive, threatened Hancock’s brother and was told to “cut it out” and Hancock had been remanded in custody for four days. Will Bennett, for Hancock, who has no previous convictions, said he was remorseful.