Nightclub glassing soldier to be posted to Afghanistan

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A BURNLEY soldier who glassed a man in a nightclub was spared jail and kept his job in the Army.

Reece Hird (20) had attacked Michael Harrison, hitting him in the ear and smashing the glass on impact.

His victim, who had to have four stitches to a gashed earlobe, had also been about to join the Army, Burnley Crown Court had earlier been told.

Hird had admitted wounding, at a hearing in February, and he faced being kicked out of the forces if he was sent to prison, or got a suspended jail term.

Judge Beverly Lunt had told the court then: “If the Army decide he’s a fit member for them, I will be satisfied he will be a fit member of the community.”

She had deferred sentence for six months, telling Hird he must keep out of trouble, not be arrested, complete his training to the standard required and pass out successfully.

He kept his military career after the judge read a letter from a lieutenant colonel, which said he had done everything she told him, and may have turned a corner.

Hird, of Creswick Avenue, Burnley, but based at Catterick, is due to start a two-year posting in Cyprus in two weeks, and is set to go to Afghanistan by the end of the year. He was accompanied to court by his commanding officer.

Judge Lunt fined the defendant £385, with a £15 victim surcharge and told him he must pay £300 compensation and £100 costs.

The judge said she hoped Hird’s future would be behaving properly and serving his country. She told him he had met the terms and conditions she had set for him very well.

“The only reason that it isn’t a suspended sentence is because you would lose your future in the Army and you are more use to society there. Leave all this behind you now and behave like a man.”

The court had earlier been told how the defendant had 10 previous convictions for disorder of one form or another, and had breached supervision orders.

Mr Philip Holden (defending) had told the hearing then that the defendant seemed to be showing a great deal of promise.

“He had urged sentence be deferred to allow him to complete his basic training.