Man brutally attacked by soldier dies almost 18 months on

Karl Pascoe
Karl Pascoe
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A man who was brutally attacked by a soldier who is now serving a 13-year jail term has died.

Washington man Joseph Leech suffered bleeding on the brain and severe facial injuries after Coldstream Guardsman Karl Pascoe hit him with a fencepost.

Two of the blows delivered to Mr Leech were with “full force” to the back of his head after he had already been felled and was lying face down on the ground

Pascoe, who was with the regiment’s first battalion, based at Windsor barracks, was about to be deployed to Afghanistan when he attacked Mr Leech while on home leave.

The thug left Mr Leech with a broken skull, bleeding on the brain and severe facial injuries, after hitting him three times with the post, on December 23, 2013.

Mr Leech died on April 2, aged 33, with a pre-inquest review into his death set to be opened on Tuesday.

Two of the blows delivered to Mr Leech were with “full force” to the back of his 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 in June last year.

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

He has since had an appeal against his sentence rejected.

Pascoe 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 was 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 in Woodland Terrace, in the Concord area of 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 killed him 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.”

A pre-inquest review over Mr Leech’s death is set to take place at Sunderland Coroner’s Court on Tuesday at 10am.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “Police are currently trying to establish the cause of death and inquiries are ongoing.”