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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Former Barrow soldier's cheese burger row court shame

A FORMER soldier acted on instinct when he was caught up in an argument over a cheeseburger, a court heard.

Paul Crawford, 40, of Hazel Gill, Barrow pleaded guilty to assaulting Matthew Robe when he appeared at Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Police arrested Crawford at 2am after he admitted punching Mr Robe twice in the face as the victim was being ejected from the Hot Potato takeaway in William Street on May 26.

The court heard that Mr Robe had been arguing with takeaway staff over whether or not he had paid for a cheeseburger.

Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, said: “An officer has heard the defendant say: ‘You don’t have to arrest me on suspicion of assault, I did it, I hit him twice and he went to sleep’.”

Mr Robe suffered a cut to his wrist, soreness to the side of the head, a stiff neck and a cut on the inside of his mouth which later became infected.

Mr Trystan Roberts, defending, said Crawford had been in the Hot Potato at the time but left when the disagreement started.

He said Crawford had reacted badly to the argument because was “not a fan of conflict” due to his experiences in the army.

Mr Roberts said: “Mr Crawford has turned around as Mr Robe was being taken outside and hit him instinctively because he was coming towards him.

“He accepts that he needn’t have hit him twice.

“The reason he has reacted in this way is that he has previously seen armed conflict in Northern Ireland and the Balkans and has seen some things that perhaps no person should ever see.

“The only other offence on his record is from 2006 when he left the armed forces, which he found difficult.

“As many, many former members of the armed forces have been, he has since been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.”

Crawford was ordered to pay £300 in compensation and a £60 victim surcharge.

The magistrates also imposed a curfew between 8pm to 7am for 16 weeks.


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