Grantham court: Missing medals led to former Major’s assault

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The court heard how a member of the armed forces awarded numerous medals during his 23 years of service, committed common assault on discovering that they were missing.

Darren Knight, 46, of Hudson Way, Grantham, pleaded guilty to assaulting a youth who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Prosecutor Daniel Pietryka described how at about 5.30pm on April 6 an argument broke out between the youth and Knight over the missing medals and in a statement the victim said that Knight had grabbed him and held him up against a door.

Contrary to his intial statement the victim said he then fell to the floor rather than being pushed, and while he was face down Knight knelt on his back.

The victim sustained red marks to his arm and shoulder, before leaving and reporting the incident to police.

Rob Arthur, defending, outlined how there had been ongoing issues between the defendant and the victim, and that the assault occured after Knight returned from a weekend away and discovered that a laptop, money and his medals were missing, the loss of which being ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’.

At this the defendant lost his temper, although he accepted that what he did in the heat of the moment was wrong.

Mr Arthur detailed Knight’s ‘exemplary military service’ having joined the army as a private in 1986, and then serving tours of duty in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq during which he earned numerous medals and was promoted up the ranks to Major.

On leaving the regular army in 2008, Knight joined the reservists and now as a forces liaison manager helps find civilian jobs for retired and injured servicemen.

Mr Arthur added that due to the incident Knight would also have to appear before an army disciplinary board, and risked being dismissed from the force.

Magistrates gave Knight a conditional discharge lasting six months and ordered him to pay £85 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.