Back to barracks for AWOL soldier

A SOLDIER who went AWOL was taken back to base by two Army colleagues after appearing before Calderdale magistrates.

Paul Hutchison, 22, of Hornby Street, Halifax, was in the dock charged with criminal damage and a breach of bail.

The court heard he was absent without leave from Battlesbury Barracks in Warminster, Wilts, and two soldiers sat at the back of court watching the proceedings.

James Weekes, prosecuting, said Hutchison was arrested on September 26 after angrily kicking a door at the home of his ex-girlfriend.

He admitted criminal damage and a breach of bail – in relation to a separate court case in which his bail conditions banned him from visiting his ex-girlfriend’s home.

The court heard Hutchison had kicked the door during an argument with his ex.

Mr Weekes said: “Hutchison is a soldier who is currently absent without leave.

“There are two soldiers at the back of the court who have attended to take him back to Battlesbury Barracks.”

Iftikhar Ahmed, mitigating, said Hutchison’s ex-girlfriend had asked him to move back to help her look after their two-year-old daughter, who was born blind.

Magistrates adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report and released Hutchison on conditional bail.

The conditions were not to contact his ex-girlfriend and to live “as directed by Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, initially at Battlesbury Barracks”.