War veteran jailed for pub attack

By Douglas Whitbread

A WAR veteran has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after leaving a man scarred for life in an attack at a Mossley pub.

Christopher Darcy slashed Declan McLaughlin’s face with a wine glass after he was left feeling like “a powder keg’’ following his discharge from the army.

Mr McLaughlin suffered a six-centimetre cut to his left cheek and a seven-centimetre cut to his neck and required at least four stitches after his skin was left “hanging down’’ from his face and neck.

Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court heard the 37-year-old suddenly turned on his victim at The Commercial on Manchester Road when his then partner collapsed on the floor as they were celebrating New Year’s Eve 2018.

Christopher Darcy a shell-shocked Afghan War veteran who went berserk and slashed a man’s face with a wine glass after he was left feeling like ”a powder keg” following his discharge from the army has been jailed for three and a half years. 

Mr McLaughlin, of Mossley, had been out in Manchester city centre with friends before heading to The Commercial.

The court heard Darcy’s then partner mysteriously sank to the floor. There was then an exchange of words between the two men before Darcy picked up the wine glass and thrust it into the victim’s face.

The woman was unable to explain why she collapsed at the table but Mr McLaughlin later claimed Darcy and his girlfriend had simply “fallen out’’ and Darcy and told him to move away in the moments before the attack.

In mitigation for Darcy, defence counsel Brian Williams said: “He has seen the kind of things that no one should see. His unresolved issues have been added to by this troubling experience on active service.

“By the time he left the army, he was a powder keg but he did seek help from the army. This is no criticism, but there was very little help.

“He was effectively told to ‘man up’ for a number of years. He spent six years in the army and in Afghanistan.

“He made attempts to try to get help. But having been told to ‘man up’ it did not work.

“During the incident itself, something was said, and the powder keg exploded. He has undergone cognitive behavioural therapy, is on an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs and is now in a different place to the place he was in.

“He apologises to the complainant. Having experienced trauma himself, he knows what it’s like. The thought of a sentence of immediate custody terrifies him.’’

Darcy, of Huddersfield, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Sentencing Judge Maurice Greene told him: “You deliberately picked up a wine glass and struck him in the face with it.

“Mr McLaughlin is still now, nearly three years later, suffering panic attacks. He still has some scarring to his face as well. He lost his job for some amount of time and it’s had a somewhat significant impact on him.

“There have been diagnoses of depression, alcohol dependency, ADHD and PTSD, a lot of which is due to the six years where you served your country in the army and in Afghanistan. You were discharged in 2016 because of your mental health.

“But the fact that you have PTSD does not explain why you acted in the way you did, without consequence.’’

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