Page last updated at 12:19 GMT, Friday, 6 November 2009

Serving soldier avoids jail term

Daniel Gooda
Daniel Gooda is due to go to Afghanistan next week

A soldier has avoided jail because of "his service to his country".

Daniel Gooda, 26, of the Household Cavalry, was convicted of affray for his part in a fight in Norwich in which a man suffered fatal injuries.

But the judge suspended his 28-week jail term for 12 months and Gooda is due to fly to Afghanistan next week.

Trooper Gooda, 26, was cleared of the manslaughter of Timothy Moore, who died from head injuries six days after the fight outside a bar.

Gooda had told Norwich Crown Court he punched 30-year-old Mr Moore to protect a friend. The affray charge involved a club doorman.

Judge Anthony Leonard, QC, told Gooda his sentence had been suspended "because of the exceptional nature of the service he has given his country".

Gooda, who comes from Norfolk and is based at Combermere Barracks, Windsor, had denied manslaughter, affray and assaulting a police officer during the incident in March at the Sing Sing bar on Prince of Wales Road.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said that as Gooda's sentence had been suspended, he was able to remain in the Army.

Norfolk Police said in a statement: "Such incidents are unpredictable and the city continues to be a safe place in which to live, work and socialise."

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