Ex-peacekeeper jailed for attack

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Tomasz Chmura, who served with the Polish army in Kosovo under the command of the UN, was caught on CCTV punching a 23-year-old man outside the Havana Club.

Both men had been drinking.

Chmura was sentenced yesterday by the Royal Court to 18 months behind bars.

The victim lost three teeth in the assault at around 1 am on 21 May.

It was alleged that he was also head-butted in what he told the police was an unprovoked assault.

Referring to the CCTV footage of the scene in Bath Street, Crown Advocate Sally Sharpe said: ‘The victim is not seen to take any offensive action towards the defendant throughout the footage.’ She added, however, that when he was interviewed by detectives, Chmura said that he had bumped into the man, who had sworn and insulted him in Polish.

A report produced by the Alcohol and Drug Service found that Chmura was prone to aggressive outbursts when drunk.

Advocate Sharpe called for a sentence of 18 months imprisonment and for the defendant to be deported at the end of his sentence.

Advocate David Hopwood, defending, said that his client deeply regretted what he had done and accepted that his assault was wrong even if he had been verbally abused.

He added that Chmura worked hard and was an asset to his employers and to the Island.

He said the defendant wanted to stay in the Island because his wages supported his brother and sister going to university back in Poland.

Without that support, the court heard, they would be unable to continue with their education.

Advocate Hopwood said that Chmura had been in the Polish Army and had served in Kosovo.

He has no previous criminal convictions.

‘He made one mistake that was over in seconds,’ he added.

The Deputy Bailiff, Michael Birt, said: ‘There is too much drink-fuelled violence in St Helier and the court is determined to do all it can to ensure that those who commit offences of this nature are adequately punished to reflect the public’s concern about such violence.’ He added that a decision on whether to deport the defendant would be adjourned so that evidence could be put before the court to verify Chmura’s claim that his deportation would mean his siblings’ lives would be adversely affected.

Mr Birt was sitting with Jurats Le Breton and Le Cornu.

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