...By Muyiwa Aderinto for TDPel Media.
Army Corporal Convicted of Assaulting Fellow Soldier at Christmas Party
A British Army corporal has been found guilty of assaulting another soldier in a ‘frenzied’ Christmas party attack. Cpl Paul Byron attacked Lance Corporal Dean Taylor, leaving him covered in blood after biting his ears and nose.
The incident occurred after Byron was accused of calling a Muslim colleague, Lance Corporal Faisal Murtaza, a ‘P***.’ The men, both members of the Royal Anglian Regiment, had been wearing ‘best dress’ at the event at Kendrew Barracks in Rutland, which had involved alcohol.
Assault Occurred After Racist Comment
Cpl Byron had been involved in several arguments during the evening, with the incident stemming from accusations of racist behaviour towards LCpl Murtaza.
LCpl Taylor testified that Cpl Byron had threatened him earlier in the evening, telling him that he would ‘kick his head in.’
Assault Occurred in Toilets
Cpl Byron followed LCpl Taylor into the toilets, where he struck him on the back of the head before proceeding to repeatedly punch and knee him in a ‘frenzied’ attack.
Although the pair tangled on the floor, Byron was eventually pulled away. The court martial was told that the assault left LCpl Taylor with blood ‘all down’ his face.
Cpl Byron Claimed Self-Defence
Despite being convicted of causing actual bodily harm, Cpl Byron claimed that he acted in self-defence. During the trial, the court heard that the assault was unprovoked, extreme violence conducted under the influence of alcohol.
After being separated, details of the incident were reported up the chain of command and Service Police were informed. The court martial took place at Bulford Military Court, Wilts.
Byron’s actions were deemed unacceptable, and he will face legal consequences for his assault on LCpl Taylor.
The incident highlights the dangers of alcohol-fuelled aggression and racism within the military, and the importance of maintaining a professional and respectful attitude among colleagues.