AN Army corporal with 20 years’ service who assaulted his wife in an alcohol-fuelled rage received leniency from magistrates because he stood to lose his job.

Combat logistics worker Lee Patterson was fined £822 overall at Colchester Magistrates’ Court after admitting assaulting his wife of 20 years and breaking a computer.

The court heard the couple had both been drinking last December when Patterson, 38, became “horribly abusive”, calling his partner names, Natalie Anforth, prosecuting, said.

Ms Anforth said: “She called the police and the defendant laughed at her. Mrs Patterson was grabbed by the arm and punched in the shoulder. No injuries were caused.

“His wife, who is in court today, doesn’t want an application for compensation for the broken computer or a restraining order. They are going to be reconciling.”

The court heard Patterson, a non-commissioned officer with the 16 Air Assault Brigade in Colchester, had served on multiple operations during his career including Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Northern Ireland.

Frank O’Toole. mitigating, expressed “extreme remorse” on behalf of the dad-of-one whose first reporting officer described him as “courteous and kind” in court.

Mr O’Toole said: “His life in the Army has had some effect on him which has manifested in recent times and been expressed in excessive drinking.

“He tells me from the date of the incident he’s stopped. He recognises he has a problem and the only way to solve it is through abstinence.”

Magistrates considered the repercussions for Patterson’s job, an assault of a police officer last year plus his history with alcohol and mental health.

The fact Patterson, of Aisne Road, Colchester, was already seeking help from the Army also worked in his favour.