Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Lyneham soldier jailed for drunken attack
9:39am Monday 16th April 2012 in Local
A soldier who bit off a chunk of a colleague’s ear in a drunken attack has been jailed for 18 months.
Leslie Ellison had earlier bitten another man’s nose in an unprovoked attack during the booze fuelled rampage following a ‘lads and dads’ night at RAF Lyneham.
Now the 32-year-old corporal, who has worked with special forces as an air dispatch crew commander, will now be drummed out of the army.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon crown court how the incident took place on the airbase in October 2010.
She said Michael Edwards, who was known to pals as Little Eddy as he was only 5gt 9ins and nine stones, had brought his cousin Neil Jarmolinski to the event.
In the bar afterwards Ellison, who had organised the event, was behaving in a rowdy drunken way getting involved in a number of scraps.
He approached Cpl Edwards and grabbed him by the testicles telling him to get the drinks in and when Mr Jarmolinski intervened Ellison grabbed his tie and wrestled with him.
A while later the visitor was in the toilets when he was aware of the defendant behind him landing a blow to the back of his head.
As he was on the ground Ellison climbed on top of his prone body and sank his teeth into his nose while another man landed kicks on his prone body.
When Cpl Edwards found what had happened he went across to Ellison and threw a punch at him, but slipped backwards on the wet floor.
The defendant then got on top of him and bit a 3cm by 1cm chunk from his left ear, spitting it out on to the floor.
The defendant was seen outside with a friend afterwards stumbling into a flowerbed and later found to have a broken leg and dislocated ankle.
Ellison, of Kopernik Road, Swindon, pleaded guilty to two charge of grievous bodily harm.
Marcus Davey, defending, said his client had been in the Royal Logistics Corps for 14 years and was a career soldier.
He said he worked as an air despatch crew commander and the services were short of experienced men in that role.
In the past he had been in Afghanistan and Iraq working in dangerous situations, often with special forces, and has also served in the Falklands.
Mr Davey said his client would lose his job if he received an immediate jail term leaving his family and his unit to suffer as a result.
“What I am going to ask your honour to consider doing is not to let a drunk couple of hours ruin this man’s life: and it would ruin this man’s life if he were imprisoned,” he said.
He said that one of his client’s senior officers had received a phone call from Cpl Edwards saying he did not want him imprisoned.
Passing sentence Judge Euan Ambrose said “I can’t determine sentence by the wishes of Mr Edwards any more than I can inflate the sentence were he baying for your blood.”
He added “I wouldn’t be stretching the imagination to call the army your family. You have been in for 14 years. If I pass a custodial sentence you will lose that.
“I am urged not to do that really to take a course that engineers or tears up the guidelines but says ‘here is a man with whom I should take a different course’.
“It is a powerful submission. The difficulty is it invites me to treat you quite differently to a civilian.”