An army lance corporal was today spared jail after sparking a bar-room brawl that left his victim injured.
Paul Johnson, who serves with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and is stationed at their Leuchars base in Fife, could now face demotion over the rammy.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard that on April 2 last year Johnson went to the Tayport Arms in Tayport, north east Fife – but got involved in an argument.
That led to him “behaving in a threatening and abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm” by acting aggressively and challenging other drinkers to fight.
He then assaulted Conor Fleming outside the bar – kicking him on the body causing him to fall down to his injury.
Johnson, 30, of Leuchars Base, Fife, denied charges of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner and assault on summary complaint.
He claimed self defence – but was found guilty of the charges following a one-day trial.
Today Paul Parker Smith, defending, said: “His current rank is lance corporal and he was due for promotion to full corporal but due to these proceedings that has gone.
“He accepts that is at his hand.
“He will face charges of bringing the Army into disrepute and breaching discipline.
”He could also lose his existing rank which he will have to deal with.“
Sheriff Linda Smith imposed a community payback order with one year’s supervision and 120 hours unpaid work.
She said: “It is always disappointing when people think self defence means they can have a fight with someone and that’s clearly what you set about here.
“It was what they call in Glasgow a square-go.
“This sentence is a direct alternative to custody.”