United Kingdom

Royal Navy sailor spared jail after shooting his girlfriend with a BB gun

Harley Moore, 18, also attacked two other women during a drunken rampage in Deal, Kent (Picture: SWNS)

A young navy sailor has been spared jail after attacking three women because a magistrate didn’t want him to lose his job. 

Harley Moore, who is 18 years old, reportedly flew into a rage after his partner went on a trip with another man to London

Margate magistrates court heard Moore fired at his partner with a BB gun and hit her in the foot at their home in Deal, Kent, during an altercation about the trip. 

Moore became angry again when the couple went out drinking the following day with a friend of his partner’s. 

During the spat, Moore’s partner ran into the toilet at The Sir Norman Wisdom Wetherspoon in Deal. 

He followed her, ‘practically foaming at the mouth and spitting at me’, to the bathroom where he ‘pinned her up against the wall’, the court heard. 

His partner told police: ‘He went to hit me and missed – but he caught me with his nails. Then he turned around and hit [my friend], causing her to fall backwards.’

Moore’s partner suffered a scratch to the face while her friend suffered a bruised back. He also pushed a female pub employee who was trying to get him to leave the premises. 

Margate Magistrates’ Court declined to enforce a community service order against Moore given it would likely cost him his job in the Navy (Picture: KMG/SWNS)

He admitted four counts of assault by beating on Thursday. His partner said in an impact statement: ‘The whole incident has made me feel very shaken up and upset because I never imagined he could hit me. 

‘I am shocked that someone I thought I loved could do this to me and my friend.’

While Chair Magistrate David Gibbons described the incident as ‘severe’, the court declined to enforce a community service order against Moore because it would likely cost him his job as a junior able seaman on the HMS Prince of Wales. 

Gibbons said: ‘We in no way wish for Mr Moore to lose his job – we wish him the best with that. But we can’t let his job mean that he escapes justice.

‘While the offences are deserving of a community order, it has become apparent that this is unworkable, so we will be going down the route of a conditional discharge.’

The Royal Navy, with whom Moore serves as a junior able seaman on the HMS Prince of Wales, said it took a ‘very seriously dim view’ of his conduct (Picture: Shaun Roster/SWNS)

This means if Moore should reoffend within three years, he is liable to be punished for both the recent altercation and any subsequent offences. 

Ian Bond, defending Moore, said the young naval employee is ‘genuinely remorseful.’

Chief Petty Officer Darrell Binner was also present at court. He said disciplinary action is also being taken by the Navy, which ‘takes a very seriously dim view of what Mr Moore has done.’

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