A JUDGE has pleaded with a soldier suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after serving in Afghanistan to get help after he attacked a man in the street.
Johnathen Dunne, aged 26, from Capel Isaf in Llanelli, was discharged from 1st Battalion the Royal Welsh when his condition became clear but after he had served two tours of Afghanistan.
Judge Peter Heywood said he would not jail him for this unprovoked assault outside a club in Llanelli but urged him to get help.
"I don't think we give enough credit to the men who are prepared to lay down their lives on a daily basis for us," he said, but added that the courts were beginning to see more cases of offences committed by servicemen.
"Sadly, it's something we're beginning to see on a regular basis. Servicemen come home from the throes of conflict and we consider they're all robust by the very nature of their training but seeing colleagues and friends fall, it's not easy and I suspect so many of them need psychological help."
He then listed several people he knew in his own life who had served and the effect war had had on them.
"I am not going to send him to prison, largely because of that," he said.
"It's sad to see young men who serve with our premier regiment to find themselves before the courts because of what they have seen in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland because they think they can cope with it," he said.
James Hartson, representing Dunne, said his client was "very proud" of his service and was remorseful for this attack.
He left his victim, who had been out celebrating with colleagues, unconscious on the floor. But Alexander Budge, did not suffer serious injuries, prosecutor John Lloyd said.
Judge Heywood gave Dunne a 12-month community order, 100 hours of unpaid work and supervision.
"I want you to make sure you talk to your supervising officer and I don't want you to put on a face of bravado but if you're suffering flashbacks or anything of the sort you have to raise it," he said.