Soldier who fractured man’s skull with fencepost loses appeal over 13-year sentence

FAILED APPEAL: former Coldstream Guardsman Karl Pascoe.
FAILED APPEAL: former Coldstream Guardsman Karl Pascoe.
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A COLDSTREAM Guardsman, who left his victim with a fractured skull after smashing him over the head with a fencepost during a drunken night out, has failed to have his 13-year jail term reduced.

Karl Pascoe, 29, was with the regiment’s first battalion, based at Windsor barracks, and was about to be deployed to Afghanistan, when he attacked Joseph Leach, 32, while on home leave.

Pascoe left Mr Leach with a broken skull, bleeding on the brain and severe facial injuries, after hitting him three times with the post, on December 23 last year, in Washington.

Two of the blows were delivered with “full force” to the back of the victim’s head after he had already been felled and was lying face down on the ground.

Pascoe, of Blackfell, Washington, was jailed for 13 years, at Newcastle Crown Court on June 12.

He was cleared of attempted murder by a jury, but convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Yesterday, he asked Lord Justice Pitchford, Mr Justice Knowles and Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, to reduce his punishment, claiming it far too tough.

The court heard Pascoe was heading back to a friend’s house and was “drunk and angry” when he passed Mr Leach on Woodland Terrace, Washington.

Mr Leach was carrying the post and Pascoe crossed the street and took it off him.

He followed his victim, before attacking him outside his home, leaving him with injuries which would have cost him his life, had it not been for emergency medical intervention.

Lawyers for Pascoe argued that he ought to have received a lower sentence because of his positive good character and the service he had given his country.

Rejecting his complaints, Lord Justice Pitchford said: “We are unable to say that, in imposing a sentence of 13 years, the judge went arguably wrong in principle, or that the sentence was manifestly excessive.”