War vet knifed his own face

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A FORMER soldier with post traumatic stress disorder slashed himself with a knife after reading a newspaper report about a friend killed in action.

Lee Murray, who had served in Bosnia and Iraq, called police from home to say he had cut his arms, head and face with a knife, a court heard.

Officers went to his address and saw cuts to his forehead and face and the article about the soldier’s death.

“He asked police what they would do if he ‘kicked off’,” said Helen Griffiths, prosecuting at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.

“He then cut himself on his arms, forehead and stomach, each strike drawing blood.”

Murray, whom the court heard had clearly been drinking, told officers he would have both of them and they snatched knives from the property.

He followed them outside, demanding to know where the knives were, and was sprayed with CS gas to subdue him.

Murray, aged 37, of Holmefield Road, Whitwell, Chesterfield, appeared in court in custody and admitted using threatening behaviour on Tuesday, June 16.

He had committed a similar offence in April.

The court was told Murray suffered from post traumatic stress disorder after serving in the Army in Iraq.

District Judge Appleyard adjourned sentence until July 6 for probation service reports to be prepared.

The judge also rejected an application for Murray to be given bail.

He told Murray: “I have every sympathy for soldiers who come out of the army having seen active combat but I have to look at the wider picture.

“You are a risk to yourself and I fear for the wider community too if I release you. I am going to have to remand you in custody.”

Defending solicitor Steve Brint said Murray’s offending began following his return from Iraq three years ago.

He said Murray had been drinking excessively on the day of the incident..

Mr Brint added: “This offence was committed while in drink and reading a report about a certain friend of his who had died.

“He was extremely upset.

“He is seeking help from his GP and the combat stress team.

“His father is ex-military and his parents know what he is going through,” said Mr Brint.