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Ex-soldier Luke Hare spared prison sentence after assault on innocent pedestrian

By Paul Hooper

An ex-soldier may have been suffering the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder when he attacked an innocent man in the street.

Luke Hare, of Douglas Road, Herne Bay, broke his victim’s nose in the random assault in Prospect Road, Hythe, in March.

Canterbury Crown Court heard the 33-year-old had confronted Matthew Wilkins and asked him about his “missing daughter”.

Hare was thought to have been suffering from post-traumatic stress. Picture: Getty Images

When 25-year-old Mr Wilkins explained he had no idea who she was, Hare punched him in the face twice and then kicked him.

Hare, described as muscular and 6ft tall, then ordered his victim to stay on the floor before allowing him to sit on a wall as he took a phone call from a man called Billy.

It was later revealed Billy was Hare’s brother and had been concerned about his missing girlfriend, who was found safe and well.

Recorder James Osborne told Hare: “This is a slightly unusual case, but still a serious one.

“You weren’t drunk when you approached Mr Wilkins but something unusual was going on in your mind, probably due to your post-traumatic stress disorder from being in the forces.

Patrick Maguire was arrested charged with threatening to damage or destroy property and possessing a bladed article.

“It would seem you were in a muddle about your daughter and your brother’s girlfriend due to your experiences in the past. I accept you have expressed genuine remorse.”

Mr Wilkins, who also struck his head on the ground during the unprovoked attack, has now been left fearful of going out.

Hare pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm and was given an 18-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

He must also do 200 hours of unpaid work for the community and has been placed under a house curfew between 9pm and 6am for three months.

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