Man who attacked security guard had endured Afghanistan siege
A North Yorkshire man left traumatised by spending harrowing time in Afghanistan attacked a Heathrow security guard who was trying to help him. Steven Lidster, 37, of Guisborough near Middlesbrough, was in need of PTSD support but the same psychological support soldiers would receive was not forthcoming, a court heard. Lidster had just touched down at Heathrow Airport on June 9 and was in Terminal 2, when staff noticed he was lying on the floor.
For more news from North Yorkshire click here Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court heard security guard Joshua Jerrard approached him as he “thought he was having a seizure.” Prosecutor Zara Daud said: “He realised he was drunk and stumbling around.
“He radioed for assistance and a passenger experience manager then spoke to the defendant and, whilst calm and compliant initially, his demeanour changed and he became abusive saying ‘I’m going to f… you over’. “He kept telling the defendant he was trying to help him and placed an open palm on his chest to maintain a safe distance from him. “He then slapped him across the face and grabbed his face and pulled him in closer.
“They struggled for about five seconds with both ending up on the floor. “During the struggle Mr Jerrard heard his left shoulder crack and was then unable to move his left arm. “He believed he had dislocated it and he put it back into place.”
The court heard an MRI scan found Mr Jerrard had a lateral tear in his shoulder. In a statement, the victim said: “One of the reasons I do my job is to protect the public so when I first saw the man and realised he was drunk I actually went to help him. “Even after he attacked me and was threatening he would kill me with his bare hands, my thought was to check he was OK and reassure him we just wanted to help him.
“Being assaulted at work has badly affected me. The physical injury may require surgery. “It has caused me huge stress and anxiety.
I never expected to be attacked at work by a member of the public when all I do is to try and safeguard them. “He selfishly put me in a life or death situation when he went for my head and neck. I chose to take action that would cause no harm to him by restraining him.
“I have replayed the moment many times over in my mind. “I had to go through an internal investigation as well as the police one and spent months worrying as I have been waiting for the outcome.
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“The whole situation has left me emotional and physically drained as I’m isolated and live alone. “I still experience pain with my shoulder three months on. All in all this whole experience has affected me massively and left me no longer feeling safe in my workplace.”
Lidster, of North Yorkshire, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and drunk and disorderly behaviour.
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Sarah Moulange, defending, told magistrates her client has spent the last five years in Afghanistan, an “active war zone.” She said he has not received a formal diagnosis for PTSD from a psychiatrist, but was referred by his GP to a local mental health service in Teesside for treatment. She said: “He’s a contractor but without any psychological support as soldiers are given.
He has suffered, he’s been in a siege for 12 hours between the Taliban and British army and seen very extreme violence. “He’s seen IEDs (improvised explosive devices) blown up on the premises where he was working. “He was self-medicating with alcohol for the PTSD.”
Sentencing was adjourned until March for a psychiatric and probation report to be prepared.
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