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

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.

Monday, 6th June 2016, 8:09 am
Updated Monday, 6th June 2016, 9:12 am
Northampton Crown 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.

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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.