- WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
- Shaun Smith and Jason Collins were filmed on CCTV assaulting two men
- The Soldiers were drinking for hours before 'inexcusable' attack last April
- They chased one victim round a tree and onto a main road to beat him
- Despite brutal attack both were spared jail in 'exceptional' sentencing
- Collins, 22, has since been stationed to guard Buckingham Palace
Shocking footage has emerged of the moment a Buckingham Palace guard and a fellow soldier punched and stamped on a civilian's head 18 times in a horrifying attack after a drunken night out.
Shaun Smith, 25, and Jason Collins, 22, had been drinking for hours when they were caught on CCTV attacking two men near their barracks at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire last April.
The pair were filmed kicking and punching one of their victims before chasing the other around a tree and dragging him across a main road to be beaten in what police described as 'the most violent' piece of film they had seen in a decade.
They were found guilty of actual bodily assault following separate trials at Teesside Crown Court but have both been spared jail in what a judge described as an 'exceptional' sentencing.
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CCTV cameras captured the horrifying attack last April in which soldiers Shaun Smith (left, in black jeans) and Jason Collins (right, bending over), kicked and punched two men repeatedly near their barracks
Collins, 22, (left) has been stationed at Buckingham Palace since the attack. Smith, was described as an 'angel' in court by his officer
Jurors heard how the pair claimed their victims had followed them out of a nightclub where they had been drinking shots, gin and beer.
In footage that was shown to the court Smith, a guardsman with the Scots Guard, is seen kicking one of his victims repeatedly before running towards Collins to join him in attacking the second.
Collins, a Welsh guardsman who has served at Buckingham Palace, was filmed punching each of the men repeatedly.
With one of the men lying motionless in the middle on the ground, the soldiers chased the other round a tree and onto a main road seconds after a car drove past.
Grabbing him by the neckline of his clothes, Collins dragged him across the concrete as Smith stamped on his head 18 times.
The most violence piece of CCTV I have seen in 10 years as a police officer
Detective Constable Andy Palmer, North Yorkshire Police
After around 40 seconds of hitting and kicking the victim the men were seen running away from the scene.
They later told police they men had threatened to stab them and that they were acting in self-defence, a claim which was never proven.
Police described the footage as 'the most violent piece of CCTV' they had seen in 10 years.
'It is extremely fortunate that the victims in this case were not more seriously injured,' said Detective Constable Andy Palmer.
'This case highlights the horrors of alcohol-fuelled violence and is even more shocking given that the defendants were, up until this incident, of good character.
'I hope that people watch this footage and realise just what can happen if they do not stay in control when they are out drinking.'
Despite the brutality of the attack, both soldiers were spared jail after army bosses vouched for their characters in court.
Describing the attack as 'deeply unpleasant and inexcusable', sentencing Judge Jamie Hill QC said the men's victims posed 'no threat' to them.
With one of their victims motionless on the ground the pair begin to chase the second across the main road near their barracks at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire
Reaching for his neck, Collins tries to grab the man before the pair chase him round a tree and back onto the road
After dragging the man onto the ground Collins is seen raising his fists and punching him repeatedly in the face
The pair earlier claimed they had been followed out of a nightclub by the victims who threatened to stab them. A judge rejected their version of events, saying the man seen in the footage (above) posed 'no threat' when they were beating him
Of the man who had his head stamped on 18 times, he said: 'It’s a major surprise he suffered no more than bruising and was able to get up and see if his friend was alright.'
But the court was told that despite the shocking nature of the assault, both men were of good character and the Army was keen to keep them.
Speaking on behalf of Smith, Richard Hermann said: 'He's an angel but on that night he was a devil.'
He was given a 12 month sentence suspended and told to complete 80 hours of unpaid work. Collins was given a 12 month community order and also told to pay £1,000 in compensation.
Since the attack he has been stationed at Buckingham Palace, an army officer told the court.
Sentencing, Judge Hill said: 'What I have done is entirely exceptional. I cannot say what the Army will do but I express the hope that the Army feels able to keep you.'