Man left with broken nose after being attacked by 'out-of-control' ex-soldier during Caernarfon night out

A file picture of Pool Street, Caernarfon
-Credit: (Image: Ian Cooper)


A former soldier left a man with a broken nose after a fight broke out in Caernarfon. Cefin Roberts, 37, assaulted a man in the Gwynedd town during a night out.

But Caernarfon Crown Court heard Roberts developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during his military career which included two tours of Iraq. It was not diagnosed at the time of the incident, as Roberts was "too embarrassed and ashamed" to seek help.

The court heard police had spotted Roberts and victim Jack Thomas brawling before Roberts sat astride Mr Thomas in Pool Street and headbutted him. Roberts was arrested and admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm.

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Today a judge told Roberts, of Waen Dirion, Benllech, he had gone "far beyond...self-defence". She gave him a two-year jail term, suspended for two years.

Prosecutor Richard Edwards said Mr Thomas had been for a Christmas meal with workmates in Y Felinheli on December 17, 2022. Afterwards they went to the Copa bar in Caernarfon.

The court heard police officers were in Caernarfon and saw something happen between Roberts and Mr Thomas. One officer spoke to Roberts who had an injury over his right eye and was "agitated".

Later the officer saw Roberts and Mr Thomas "swinging punches at each other" on Pool Street in the town. The prosecutor said: "The officer saw the defendant sat astride Mr Thomas on the floor."

Roberts repeatedly punched the victim then headbutted him twice. Roberts punched him again, stood up and kicked him in the face before officers intervened.

Mr Thomas, who accepted he had been drinking, remembered seeing the defendant in the nightclub. He said Roberts told him to come down a side alley for a fight.

Afterwards he rang his girlfriend for a lift home, the court heard. As he was walking to meet her he looked over his shoulder and was hit by someone on the side of the head.

The next thing Mr Thomas recalled was his partner leaning over him with police and paramedics. The court heard Mr Thomas sustained a broken nose, possible broken eye socket and other injuries.

The nose was not suitable for "repositioning surgery" so looks slightly bent. In a statement Mr Thomas, who is a joiner, said he lost three weeks of work, is worried he might be assaulted again and has low moods.

John Wyn Williams, defending, said his client served for eight years in the Army, with two tours of Iraq, and developed PTSD. "That was the cause of what happened here," he insisted.

The judge Her Honour Nicola Saffman told Roberts he and Mr Thomas had had a "confrontation" that evening. But Roberts' actions went "far beyond what could be described as self-defence".

It was a sustained attack by a "drunk and out of control" Roberts. However the judge noted a consultant forensic psychiatrist found he had had undiagnosed PTSD brought about by his experiences in the Army, which led to his actions that evening.

Roberts had been "too embarrassed and ashamed to seek help". He is getting help for the condition now including from a veterans' charity.

The judge said there had been an element of provocation, Roberts is remorseful and is seeking rehabilitation. Given the "exceptional circumstances" she could suspend the sentence.

But he must wear an alcohol abstinence monitoring tag for 120 days, do 25 rehabilitation activity days and pay £2,000 compensation to his victim.

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