A football hooligan has been jailed for six years for stabbing a soldier in the back of the neck in his barracks while high on drugs and ‘absolutely steaming drunk’.
Aidan Warner nodded his head as he was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court, having pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Corporal David Ferguson.
Simon Edwards, prosecuting, told the court that the defendant, a civilian, had been drinking heavily with a number of service personnel in a pub in Aldershot before they returned to Mons Barracks in the garrison town.
He said that ‘bickering’ broke out and, at 6.16am, paramedics and an air ambulance were called to the barracks after Cpl Ferguson, 26, of the Scots Guards, suffered two ‘deep penetrating’ stab wounds, one above his spine and the other to the right of his neck.
Mr Edwards said: ‘The police accompanied Mr Ferguson to St George’s Hospital in London as it was deemed at the time his injuries were potentially life-threatening.’
He added that the attack had left the victim feeling unable to continue in his position in the forces, saying: ‘Professionally it has clearly dented his self-esteem.’
You must bear the responsibility for that as you must be for your actions, drunken and thoughtless as they were.Judge Andrew Barnett
Mr Edwards said the defendant had spent £100 on alcohol during the night and had also taken two lines of cocaine prior to the attack.
He added: ‘It seems to have occurred through a haze of alcohol and drugs as far as the defendant is concerned.’
The court heard that Warner had run off from the scene but was found outside the gates to the barracks where he told police: ‘I know I am in the wrong, it all got out of hand, I will do time for this.’
David Castle, defending, said Warner and another civilian had been drinking with the victim and other soldiers while watching an England v Scotland football match in a pub.
The defendant, of Egret Gardens in Aldershot, and his friend were invited back to the barracks on November 12 last year but a disagreement had broken out with some other servicemen questioning their presence in the base, Mr Castle said.
He added: ‘He was absolutely steaming drunk and has no recollection of what happened and neither does the complainant.
‘He is sorry for the impact his actions have had on the soldier.’
The court heard that Warner, an Aldershot Town FC fan, is subject to a football banning order, having previously been convicted of two counts of battery and two offences of criminal damage.
Judge Andrew Barnett said the ‘horrific’ attack could have killed the victim, adding: ‘Part of the blade was left in the neck, such was the viciousness of the attack.’
He told Warner: ‘Mr Ferguson has decided to leave the Army as he has been significantly traumatised by your actions.
‘That is a considerable loss to someone who has been in the Army for a considerable period of time.
‘You must bear the responsibility for that as you must be for your actions, drunken and thoughtless as they were.’