Neat freak 19-year-old Army private Sam Hockings belted his own roommate after the fellow soldier left his dirty undies and shoes on the floor of their cabin.
Neat freak 19-year-old Army private Sam Hockings belted his own roommate after the fellow soldier left his dirty undies and shoes on the floor of their cabin.

Soldier belted roommate over dirty undies spat

A neat freak army private belted his roommate in the face with a "flurry" of punches amid an ongoing dispute about him leaving his dirty undies on the floor.

Private Samuel Thornton Hockings, 19, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm at the Defence Force Magistrates Court in Canberra on Thursday.

The court heard Hockings and his victim, Private Jae Dale, were sharing a small room at Lone Pine Barracks at Singleton during infantry training in March last year when an ongoing dispute about Private Dale leaving his shoes and undies on the floor flared up.

Private Hockings moved some of Private Dale's clothes when he was out of the room so he could clean the pair's room, and Private Dale said words to the effect of "next time you throw my clothes on the floor, make sure I'm in the room and I'll f*cking clock you".

The court heard Private Dale then said: "come on c*nt, let's f*cking go".

Private Samuel Hocking is now based at 5RAR at Robertson Barracks in Darwin. He will serve 40 days in detention for assaulting his roommate during infantry training.
Private Samuel Hocking is now based at 5RAR at Robertson Barracks in Darwin. He will serve 40 days in detention for assaulting his roommate during infantry training.

Private Hocking then unleashed a series of between six and 10 blows, all aimed at Private Dale's jaw.

The "flurry" of the punches left Private Dale with a swollen face and a 1cm cut above his left eyebrow.

Private Hocking stopped throwing punches with a cowering Private Dale began yelling "stop, stop, stop".

Officers later put the men in different rooms.

Defence Force Magistrate Group Captain Scott Geeves said Private Hockings repeatedly punching Private Dale in the head because he was frustrated by the clothes on the floor was a "gross over-reaction".

"Lives can be utterly destroyed and changed forever by virtue of silly choices made in times of stress," he said.

"It doesn't take much for a victim to receive a blow to the wrong area of the face or even his neck to cause catastrophic injuries.

"It doesn't take much for a victim to fall and hit his head, or her head."

Private Hockings, originally from Ipswich, was recently posted to 5RAR in Darwin, and has never been in trouble with the law or with military authorities.

Group Captain Geeves sentenced Private Hockings to 40 days detention at Holsworthy military prison.

 

Originally published as Soldier belted roommate over dirty undies spat


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