British Army Corporal is convicted of beating up junior colleague so badly he knocked him out – before offering him £3,000 to keep quiet about the attack
- Corporal Dave Barry drunkenly attacked Private Lee Bonehill, 30, at their base
- Barry had earlier punched Pte Bonehill while at a pub in Aldershot, Hampshire
- When they returned to base, Bonehill was attacked again and repeatedly kicked
- Barry denied the charge but was convicted at Bulford Military Court in Wiltshire
A British Army Corporal has been convicted by a military court of beating up a junior colleague so badly he knocked him out – before offering him £3,000 hush money to keep quiet about the attack.
Corporal Dave Barry attacked Private Lee Bonehill at their base in Camberley, Surrey, after a drunken night out with colleagues.
Private Bonehill was punched in the face after which he fell to the ground and curled up in a ball as he was repeatedly kicked and stamped on.
The private, who has been in the army for six years, told the hearing he pleaded with Barry to stop as he was in a ‘hell of a lot of pain’ before he lost consciousness.
The court heard Pte Bonehill was offered £2,000 up front to drop the charges plus a further £1,000 once it was confirmed. Barry denied this.
It had been alleged another man, Corporal Robert Andrew, had also kicked Pte Bonehill during the attack but he was cleared of assault by beating.
Barry, also of Royal Logistics Corps, was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm by a court martial today after a board deliberated for an hour.
Corporal Dave Barry (pictured) has been convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after beating a junior colleague so badly he knocked him out
Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, heard on the evening of March 1, 2020, Barry and Cpl Andrew – who did not know Pte Bonehill previously – were drinking with a group in Aldershot, Hampshire.
The group had been to a pool hall in the town called World of Mouth before heading to The George pub where Barry was described as being ‘aggressive’.
Captain Daniel Lawlor, prosecuting, told the court Barry had been ‘wound up’ about being the new boxing coach at base and had punched Pte Bonehill, which was caught on the pub’s CCTV.
The court heard Barry later pleaded guilty to battery but during the trial, he described it as a ‘pre-emptive strike’ and insisted he was defending himself from what he thought was an imminent attack.
He said: ‘From the CCTV footage it seems I’m being backed up into a pillar…. I believed I was about to get struck so I struck him first.’
After the assault, the group went their separate ways before Pte Bonehill was approached back at base while with his colleague Pte Rhys Toulson by Barry and Cpl Andrew.
Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, heard on the evening of March 1, 2020, Cpl Barry and Cpl Andrew – who did not know Pte Bonehill previously – were drinking with a group in Aldershot, Hampshire
Father-of-three Pte Bonehill said: ‘They were shouting quite loud, they were quite aggressive.
‘One of them shouted, “which one of you f**kers punched me?”
‘I was punched with enough force to go to the ground. I was then kicked in the jaw area and had blood in my mouth.
‘I was in a lot of pain. I had a bad feeling that they were not going to stop there so I curled up on the ground in a ball.’
Pte Bonehill said he was kicked up to 15 times before losing consciousness and needing treatment in hospital.
But Barry denied this, claiming Pte Bonehill was the ‘aggressor’.
The court accepted Cpl Andrew’s defence that at no point did he punch Pte Bonehill and did not kick him while he was on the ground as he had ‘no skin in the game’.
Corporal Robert Andrew (pictured) was cleared of assault after telling the court he had ‘no skin in the game’ as he did not know Pte Bonehill
Cpt Lawlor added that Barry ‘had form for this type of violent behaviour when drunk’, as he had previously chased a man down a street, knocked him to the ground and gouged his eyes in a drunken attack in Cardiff last year.
The court heard that Barry was tasered by police in the earlier incident and later convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent, assaulting an emergency worker and common assault at Cardiff Crown Court.
Following the day of the attack, Pte Bonehill received a Facebook message from Cpl Barry’s partner apologising for what had happened, adding that Barry wanted to speak to him, the board heard.
But Pte Bonehill told the court: ‘I refused to speak to him, I was scared in case it was going to carry on.’
He claimed Barry later came to his room and attempted to bribe him.
He continued: ‘He asked to speak to me to get me to drop the charges. He said he had a lot going on which he needed to go away and he offered me £2,000 in cash.
‘He said he would pay me the rest when the charges were dropped.’
Barry is due to be sentenced in May this year.
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