Two on-leave soldiers from Northern Ireland have been arrested
following an assault on three students. The Jesus College students and their friend from Aberystwyth
University, went to casualty after the arrival of the police in
the early hours of Wednesday morning. Two suspects will appear in
Oxford Magistrates Court on Friday 11 June, charged with causing
actual bodily harm. The students encountered two men as they walked to
Hassan’s Kebab Van, on Broad Street, on their way home from
The Studio nightclub. An altercation took place over a dropped
meat pie. After asking an abusive question, one of the men
punched the Aberystwyth Law student, Craig Maggs, in the face,
knocking him to the ground. Maggs was then kicked in the head
twice before Jesus first-year Maths student, Andrew Hindley,
intervened in an attempt to protect his friend. He was struck in
the face and had half of one of his front teeth broken off. The
other Oxford student, James Longster, then tried to separate the
individuals involved. He too was struck before the assailants
left the scene. Rebecca Hazel, a Jesus historian at the scene, had phoned the
police at the first sign of trouble. They arrived within minutes
and collected the shaken students before searching the area for
the assailants. Shortly afterwards, two men were found involved in an
“exchange of words” on Cornmarket Street, according to
WPC Simmonds. They were restrained before being taken under arrest to St
Aldate’s Police station. Simmonds confirmed that two men
found on Cornmarket were arrested in connection with the assault
on the students, and were charged with causing actual bodily
harm. The two, aged 18 and 25 respectively, cannot be identified
prior to their court hearing. “Everyone involved had
consumed a rather large amount of alcohol”, said Simmonds. The students involved were treated for head injuries at
Accident and Emergency. Maggs, who had been visiting his friend
Longster, said, “Until then it had been a really good
night,” adding that his first time in Oxford had
“certainly been an experience.” Longster said that the
incident had been “a mindless, unprovoked attack”.
Andrew Hindley, who was the most seriously injured of the
students, faces a hefty dental bill to repair his tooth. He told
Cherwell that he had attempted to calm the situation down but one
of the men was being extremely aggressive. “When I saw Craig
go down, my first instinct was to protect him,” he said. The charged men have been allowed to return home for a
standard bail of one week until their appearance a week today in
front of the Magistrates Court. Thames Valley Police have also
informed their regiment of the arrest, and the Royal Military
Police are expected to deal with the incident accordingARCHIVE: 5th week TT 2004