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Sunday, 21 December 2014
Royal Marines attacked by Lithuanian brothers.
Above, Jevgenji and Artur Tolstiakov
TWO brothers attacked a pair of Royal Marines injured on active service during a night out to help their recovery. Jevgenij, aged 25, and 21-year-old Artur Tolstiakov punched one of the men 22 times during an attack which lasted on-and-off for three minutes, Plymouth Crown Court heard. The brothers also stamped and kicked the serviceman as a misunderstanding over a woman turned to violence.
A judge branded their behaviour “disgraceful” but spared them jail so that they could pay their victims thousands of pounds in compensation.
The Royal Marines, one of whom had been shot in the head, were on a night out as part of their rehabilitation at HMS Drake in Devonport.
They were out in Union Street late at night to get them used to crowds – instead one was left with a broken nose and the other was left severely bruised.
Recorder Francis Abbott, handing them suspended prison sentences with unpaid work and curfews, said: “Normally in a case like this the sentence would be to send you to prison. If that happened you would probably lose your employment and would not be in a position to pay back compensation.
“Your victims have been badly affected by the experience and you being sent to prison would do nothing to help them.”
The brothers, who share a home in Stuart Road, Stoke, both pleaded guilty to assaulting one Royal Marine causing actual bodily harm on April 4.
Jevgenij also admitted assaulting the second Royal Marine causing actual bodily harm and common assault against a civilian during the same incident outside the Reflex club at 3am.
Nigel Hall, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the older brother punched the chef five times.
He added both attacked the 25-year-old Royal Marine, hitting him 22 times in total. Artur also kicked the stranger, who has suffered psychological trauma on active service, three times in the head – causing him black eyes and severe bruising.
Jevgenij also punched the second Marine in the head, where he had suffered a gunshot wound. He also kicked him once and stamped on him once on the ground. His nose was broken.
Mr Hall said the incident, caught on CCTV, started when the Marines intervened to help a girl who was upset after she was approached by the brothers.
He read the court a statement from one of the Marines which said: “I have decided I will never go out drinking again. It was a massive step for me to go out in the first place.
“It was part of my rehabilitation to go out in crowds. This is a massive step back for me.”
Will Rose, for the brothers, said that Artur saw the Marines approach his brother from behind and claimed one had made a punch gesture into his open palm.
He added that Artur intervened to defend his brother.
Mr Rose said both men regretted their actions and had no idea the victims were Royal Marines undergoing rehabilitation.
He added that both were working for a dry-walling business and were willing to pay compensation at a rate of hundreds of pounds a month.
Mr Rose said they sent back money every month to their families in Lithuania.
Recorder Abbott gave them both 12-month sentences, suspended for two years.
They must also do 180 hours unpaid work and stick to a four-month electronically-monitored curfew.
Each brother will have to pay £2,000 compensation to one of the Marines. The older brother must pay the third victim £400.