Soldier scarred by action in Iraq

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A TROUBLED ex-soldier has been locked up after slashing himself and threatening police with a knife.

Lee Murray was ‘mentally scarred’ by Army service and needed help, his solicitor – and ex-serviceman, Steve Brint told magistrates.

But the justices decided Murray, aged 37, posed too great a risk to the community to remain at liberty.

“He has been to Bosnia three times and seen atrocities committed by Milosevic and lost friends there,” Mr Brint told the court.

“He has been to Iraq twice and lost friends there too,” he said, adding seven colleagues from Murray’s regiment had died in Afghanistan.

“We have all seen Help for Heroes but what does it actually mean?

“You can see physical injuries but not what is going on behind the mask.

“He tried to seek help while in the military but didn’t get any.

“It was seen as a sign of weakness, and they simply abandon you when you leave the military,” said Mr Brint.

Angela Hadfield, prosecuting, told Chesterfield magistrates Murray had called police himself on June 16 to say he had cut his arms, head and face with a knife.

Two officers arrived at his home near Worksop to find him the worse for drink and bleeding from his wounds, with a newspaper article in front of him about a friend killed in service.

Murray asked police what they would do if he ‘kicked off’. He then cut himself on his arms, forehead and stomach, each slash drawing blood.

He threatened to assault both of the police officers, who snatched knives from the kitchen and retreated.

Murray, holding an eight-inch blade, followed them outside.

“He raised it above his head with the blade pointing downwards. He was sprayed in the face with CS gas, given a knee strike, taken to the ground and the knife was seized,” said Mrs Hadfield.

Murray, of Holmefield Road, Whitwell, admitted affray. He had been convicted of using threatening behaviour in April. He was jailed for 18 weeks.

Mr Brint said Murray had spent almost all his adult life in the Army.

He had problems adjusting to civilian life after his discharge three years ago and was drinking excessively.

“He has an appointment with the combat stress team on July 25.

“He will be tested and, if he remains free of alcohol, he will go on a residential course in September.