Army corporal guilty of 'frenzied' Christmas party attack on soldier

Army corporal is convicted of punching and biting soldier during ‘frenzied’ Christmas party attack after being accused of calling Muslim colleague a ‘P***’

  • Cpl Paul Byron followed LCpl Dean Taylor into the toilets where he punched him

A British Army corporal has been convicted of leaving a fellow soldier covered in blood by biting his ears and nose after he was accused of calling a Muslim colleague a ‘P***’ at a Christmas party. 

Cpl Paul Byron followed Lance Corporal Dean Taylor into toilets at the event before hitting him on the back of the head and repeatedly punching and kneeing him in a ‘frenzied’ attack.

The pair tangled on the floor before Cpl Byron was pulled away but the brutal assault left LCpl Taylor with blood ‘all down’ his face.

A court martial was told that before the attack Cpl Byron had been accused of making a racist comment about Lance Corporal Faisal Murtaza.

LCpl Taylor told the court Cpl Byron had threatened him earlier in the evening.

‘He came over to the table and said “I’ll kick your head in” – he was very drunk and angry,’ he said. ‘He called LCpl Murtaza a P***.’

Cpl Paul Byron at Bulford Military Court, where the four-day trial was held 

Lance Corporal Dean Taylor, who was left with blood down his face,  outside the court

After a four-day trial at Bulford Military Court, Wilts, Cpl Byron was convicted of causing actual bodily harm – despite claiming he had acted in self-defence.

During the case, the court heard the men – members of the Royal Anglian Regiment – had been wearing ‘best dress’ during the boozy party at Kendrew Barracks, Rutland.

Prosecutor Major James Eveleigh told the trial: ‘[Cpl Byron and LCpl Taylor] both attended a unit Christmas function.

‘Everyone was in best dress, nothing out of the ordinary, but of course alcohol was involved.

‘The defendant became involved in a series of backwards and forwards arguments which culminated in a suggestion of racist behaviour from Cpl Byron [towards LCpl Murtaza].

‘These arguments were thought to have been settled in a practical way – but that wasn’t the case for Cpl Byron.

‘LCpl Taylor went to the toilets and was standing with his back to the door.

‘As he stood in that position he was struck on the back of the head and dealt a number of blows all while his body was wedged between the toilet and cubicle wall.

The hearing was told that before the attack Cpl Byron was accused of making a racist comment about a Muslim soldier

‘I tried to get him off me but I was being punched and kneed in the face,’ LCpl Taylor said

‘He managed to turn around and face Cpl Byron, but he proceeded to attack him as he lay helplessly on the floor.

‘Cpl Byron was shouting, swearing and even growling at him in what was a frenzied attack.

‘He bit him on the back of the head and ears, causing him blood to freely run.

‘It was unprovoked, extreme violence conducted in drink and only separated by a bystander.’

After being separated, details of the incident eventually were reported up the chain of command and Service Police were informed.

The court heard LCpl Murtaza and Cpl Byron had shaken hands after the alleged racist remark, before LCpl Taylor was assaulted.

‘I started going to the toilet in a cubicle and I got punched from behind and fell,’ he continued.

‘I tried to get him off me but I was being punched and kneed in the face.

‘He was very angry, swearing, punching, biting.

‘He bit me on the front of my nose, my ear on the back of my head.

‘I had blood all down my face.’

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