Drunk Gosport soldier hits Royal Navy rival in the face with a bottle during game of dominoes and leaves him with a permanent scar
A DRUNK soldier who took umbrage at being called ‘shipmate’ by a Royal Navy rival ended up hitting him on the forehead with a bottle of beer.
‘Impeccable’ Gosport army stalwart Abasey Ralph, 35, ruined his unblemished character after shooting down his goading rival to leave him with a permanent 6in scar on his face.
Appearing at Portsmouth Crown Court, Ralph admitted a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm for the incident in August – but avoided jail for his misdemeanour.
The court heard how the defendant lashed out with a Corona bottle on the sailor, who has been left feeling ‘self-conscious’ and ‘sad’ as well as suffering nightmares from the ordeal.
A row erupted after the military rivals clashed at a social gathering during a game of dominoes.
Prosecutor Martyn Booth said: ‘A fair amount of alcohol had been consumed while the group engaged in banter which went too far when the victim referred to Mr Ralph as “shipmate”.
‘The victim referred to him as “shipmate” again. The next thing the man knew he was hit over the head with a bottle of Corona, leaving him with a permanent scar and needing stitches on his forehead.’
The victim described how his life had been turned upside down following the attack. ‘I now feel self-conscious and that people are looking at me,’ he said.
‘I relive the incident and question how things ended up happening that have left me looking like this. I feel hurt and sad.’
The court was told how Ralph, of St Nicholas Avenue, has since been discharged from the army. But Daniel Reilly, defending, said: ‘He would not have been discharged but for difficulties with his mental health.’
The lawyer added: ‘Mr Ralph was someone who the army saw as having the ability to go even further.’
Judge Roger Hetherington, sentencing Ralph to a 12-month community order of 80 hours unpaid work and £1,000 compensation to his victim, told the now army veteran: ‘You were a man with impeccable character who served in the army.
‘You became annoyed at being called “shipmate” and that led to you eventually snapping and hitting the bottle of Corona on his forehead to leave him with a six-inch scar.
‘It is a sad situation and something you instantly regretted.’