Armed forces veteran avoids jail after leaving friend with fractured bones in Peterborough attack

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A man who broke a friend’s thigh and wrist when he barged into him in Queensgate has avoided a jail term.

John Waters (49), of Coates Road, Whittlesey, barged into the man after Waters heard the victim was in a new relationship with his step-mum.

Queensgate

Queensgate

Waters appeared at Peterborough Crown Court this morning (Monday) after pleading guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

The court heard Waters - who has a distinguished military career, and also spent a number of years working in the prison service - was with his children in the centre on December 17 last year when he saw the man by chance.

The shoulder barge - described by Judge Matthew Lowe as ‘childish and idiotic’ - was captured on CCTV, and left the victim, a man who had been one of Waters’ closest friends for 30 years, with fractures to a wrist and thigh, which both needed operations.

Judge Lowe said there had been no intent to cause serious injury by Waters, and he would not have known the consequences of his actions as he walked away.

The court heard a prison sentence would have a major impact on Waters’ family, especially his two children. Judge Lowe was told Waters had no previous convictions, and had also pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity.

Waters was given a 10 month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also told to pay court costs of £500, and £2,000 compensation to his victim. He was given eight months to pay.