Should Soldiers Suffering From PTSD Who Commit A Crime As A Result Be Sentenced?
Judge Peter Heywood has made a statement urging for more help to be given to those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of war. He said that he does not think enough credit is given to the men who risk their lives daily for the sake of our country and that it is extremely saddening to see more and more ending up in court for violent offences.
An example of this was a recent case of his involving Afghanistan Veteran Jonathan Dunne 26. He was brought to court for an unprovoked attack after punching his victim on a night out leaving them unconscious but with no serious injuries. Dunne was discharged from his duties in the military after his PTSD hindered him from carrying out his daily duties.
He expressed extreme remorse for the attack and was spared a jail sentence but urged to seek help for his condition. He has however been given 12 months of community service equating to 100 hours of unpaid work and supervision. After the case Judge Heywood raised the urgency for servicemen to receive more psychological help. He stated that he had seen the effects of war on those close to him and that he was aware people became unaccountable for their actions.
Deciphering between intent and cause when it comes to a soldier post-war is a complex issue. PTSD can be the cause of a number of issues including violent behaviour. However should a soldier really be condemned for the effects of living a life of violence and survival and the effects of watching first-hand those close to him die? Should he/she really face prison time after serving his country and putting his own life on the line? Or should they instead be compensated for all the stress and psychological damage they suffer caused by work?
On the other hand victims of crime do not deserve to suffer from violence and the effects of war either. Therefore some may argue the person responsible for violence should be condemned regardless of why they may have acted in that way. After all if a paedophile is a paedophile because he/she was abused when young they would still face jail time and condemnation.
If you have been subjected to psychological damage as a result of work contact us now for advice on a claim.