AN ARMY sergeant who tried to recruit a 16-year-old to the Army in a bar threatened to “smash him up” when he refused, a court heard.
Sgt Damien Hill, of the Royal Welsh 1st Battalion, based at the Dale Barracks on Liverpool Road, Moston, Chester, is alleged to have tried to persuade the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to join up.
But West Cheshire Magistrates Court heard Hill then lost his temper and said he wanted to fight the boy, who had been watching a rugby union international in the barracks bar with his mother and father.
Hill, 28, who denied two counts of assault against the boy’s parents, was alleged to have thrown his glass and drink over the boy.
Magistrates found Hill guilty of assault by beating the mother but not guilty of assault by beating on the father as there was too much doubt about how the fight started and whether Hill bit the man.
Sentencing last night after a lengthy trial, presiding magistrate Alan Menkin told Hill: "Your behaviour in the club was obnoxious and you followed the family out of the club with no reason and you pushed the woman over."
He fined Hill £300, ordered him to pay £300 compensation to the woman who was pushed over and ordered him to pay £500 prosecution costs.
Wendy Newton, prosecuting yesterday, said the boy and his family had been watching the Wales v Ireland RBS 6 Nations match on February 2 with a friend who was in the Armed Forces.
She said Hill got into a “polite conversation” with the boy about the merits of joining the Army but later turned angry.
Ms Newton said he threw his drink over the boy before telling him he wanted to fight him.
She said the boy and his family then left the bar but Hill then followed them and told the boy: “I am going to smash you up like you have never been smashed before.”
Ms Newton said Hill pushed the boy’s mother to the floor and then clashed with his father.
Hill denied throwing his glass at the boy and assaulting his parents.
He admitted there had been an altercation with the father but claimed he had been acting in self-defence.
Giving evidence, the boy said: “I was at the bar when Mr Hill started speaking to me, initially in a polite manner, about joining the Army.
“He asked me what I did and told me to join the Army. I told him I did not want to but he kept on trying to persuade me. Then he threw his drink over me.
“He said he wanted to fight me. We left and he followed us outside and he said that he wanted to fight me one-on-one.
“He said he would smash me like I had never been smashed before.”
Ms Newton said the boy’s father suffered a bite mark to his face and his mother was treated for a head injury at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
But Howard Jones, defending, told the court Hill, originally of Kings Road, Mumbles, Swansea, rejected the claims made by the boy and his parents.
Mr Jones said the alleged glass throwing and assaults “never happened".
Hill said the parents had become angry with him when he was trying to persuade the boy to join the army and he said he had begun arguing with the boy's father after he said "I would not let my son join the army just to get his legs blown off."
Hill said after the intial argument, where he did not throw a glass, he went to the smoking area to calm down and then decided to go after the family to apologise but as he left the bar to catch up with them he saw the father urinating against a tree outside the bar swore at him and asked "what do you think you are doing? There are kids in there".
He then approached the family to apologise and "make peace" but the father began threatening him and eventually they began "grappling" after the boy's father threw the first punch and during that incident the mother was knocked over.