Norwich brawl soldier sent to Afghanistan rather than prison

Norwich brawl soldier sent to Afghanistan rather than prison

07 November 2009 06:30

A soldier cleared of killing a man in Norwich's nightclub district will fly out to fight for his country in Afghanistan on Monday after a judge decided not to send him to prison after he was found guilty of affray.

A jury at Norwich Crown Court took less than four hours on Thursday to find Daniel Gooda not guilty of the manslaughter of Timothy Moore, 30, from Templemere, Norwich, and not guilty of common assault, but guilty of affray.

But the judge adjourned sentencing until yesterday after the court was told any custodial sentence imposed on Windsor-based Household Cavalry trooper Gooda, for affray would see him dismissed from the army and unable to join his colleagues in the war-torn Helmand Province next week.

Speaking before the judge passed sentence, Gooda's solicitor Ben Maguire said: “There is at least one person in this court who, I have no doubt, strongly hopes that Your Honour will impose a custodial sentence - his mother is utterly terrified at the prospect of him going to Helmand Province.

“You need only look at the papers to see the risk that Mr Gooda faces. It's difficult to imagine how an individual could do more in terms of community service for his country than by serving his country.

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