Father whose soldier son caused life-threatening injury after he punched him says he forgives him

Crown Court GV'
Crown Court GV'

A soldier’s father who suffered a life-threatening injury after his son punched him outside a Northamptonshire pub told a judge he forgave his son and did not want the case to go to court.

Robert Bearman, aged 21, was drinking with his father Richard at The Red Lion in Brackley when witnesses saw him hit him in the head once.

As a result of the blow, Richard Bearman was hospitalised due to a bleed on the brain and he then suffered a stroke.

Mr Bearman has now made a full recovery but his son, who is based at barracks in Rutland and has recently completed a tour of Afghanistan, was prosecuted by police and charged with unlawful and malicious wounding.

His Honour Judge Michael Fowler, sentencing, said he had received a letter from Mr Bearman stating that he forgave his son and considered the court prosecution as a “waste of time”.

Judge Fowler said it was a “particularly unusual” case and said he had “some sympathy” for the father’s view but disagreed that it was a waste of police or court time.

He said: “As a judge you soon come to realise that no crime is similar, they all have individual circumstances and involve different individuals.

“This is a particularly unusual circumstances for a crime that I have not come across before. It is bizarre.”

judge Fowler sentenced Bearman, who pleaded guilty, to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months.