Jail for ex-soldier who attacked young mums in Hatfield

A FORMER soldier who glassed one mother in the face and punched another, in front of two children, wept as he was jailed for 12 months.

Rudi Stevens, 31, attacked two mothers outside The Harrier public house in Hatfield in the early hours of August 19 last year.

Stevens, of WGC, glassed Sharon Madigan, cutting her face, and punched her friend Julie Mealou, as the women made their way home from a party with their eight and nine-year-old children.

The plumber, who served in the Army for seven years, told police he could not remember the incident outside the Bishops Rise pub.

He admitted drinking between eight and 10 pints along with shots of Amaretto, having not drunk for several months previously.

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Charles White, prosecuting, said Mrs Madigan had been left with psychological as well as physical scars from the attack.

Stevens, of Kilworth Close, pleaded guilty to both counts of ABH.

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Miss Hamilton-Shield, defending, produced a number of glowing references for the father-of-three and asked the court not to jail her client for the acts, which she said were “completely out of character”.

Stevens has custody of two children from a previous marriage and a 10-month-old baby with a new girlfriend.

Miss Hamilton-Shield said: “He is a very amiable, quietly spoken man.

“He is devastated by this and very ashamed by what has happened.”

As Stevens wept in the dock, she said: “You can see how distressed the defendant is.

“He does not know why this occurred, but it seems to be something to do with the care of the children.

“There was some criticism that the children were out very late at night and he was criticising the ladies in question.

“If he were to go to prison it would have a devastating effect on his family.”

At St Albans Crown Court on Monday, Judge John Plumstead said only an immediate custodial sentence was appropriate.

Stevens wept again as the 12-month prison sentence was imposed.

Judge Plumstead said: “I am afraid I am sending you to jail today. I do not believe there is any way I can avoid it.

“The minimum in this case, bearing in mind the early guilty plea and all I have heard, is 12 months.

“I cannot suspend this. I have thought about it long and hard, but the fact of the matter is that the injuries are too grave and they were committed in front of two young children, aged eight and nine.

“Mr Stevens, as a father, should understand that it simply is not possible to suspend it.”

He added: “I am sorry to see you go down, but this is just a step farther than the court can go.”

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