More than £28,000 spent on treating former brigadier who attacked his wife

PCSOs and police officers around Priory School this afternoon

Police speak to school after fight in Southsea play park

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MORE than £28,000 has been spent on treatment for a former Royal Marines brigadier who attacked his wife.

Mark Noble’s defence solicitor Jason Halsey told Portsmouth Crown Court: ‘This is a man who can recover.’

Mark Noble after leaving Portsmouth Crown Court

Mark Noble after leaving Portsmouth Crown Court

That was met with a ‘hear, hear’ from comic Jim Davidson in the public gallery.

Noble was given a suspended prison sentence for the attack.

After the hearing Dr Nick Murdoch, an alcoholism adviser at the charity Care after Combat, said that 3.8 per cent of the prison population in the country was veterans.

He said: ‘Veterans form the largest cohort in prisons.

‘That number is thought to be in the region of 3,500. In truth, the accurate figure is not known.’

Mr Davidson added: ‘It’s our charity’s job to find out.’

The charity, of which Mr Davidson is chairman, was set up by Falklands veterans Derek ‘Smokey’ Cole of Gosport as chief executive and Simon Weston as a trustee.

While the court did not hear details of Noble’s 30-plus year career, the judge said he may have been traumatised by some of his experiences.

In court, Mr Halsey, defending 57-year-old Noble, said: ‘You can’t spend your lifetime dealing with that sort of thing without there being consequences.

‘All the time he was in the marines there was distractions and support.

‘It’s of real relevance these offences and problems follow his retirement from the service. He’s then on his own to face his demons.’

The court heard Noble is due to have weekly appointments for 16 weeks and a two-week rehabilitation course.

Mr Halsey added: ‘The right way of dealing with Mr Noble is treating him.’

He said Noble could fall into the abyss if he was jailed and that he was remorseful.

‘He’s a man crying out for help,’ he added.