Saturday, 27 Nov 2021

Royal Navy engineer ‘attacked men in Chinese takeaway when they mocked his food’

A Royal Navy engineer allegedly attacked two men in a Chinese takeaway after they ridiculed his choice of noodles.

Petty Officer Kris Cullerton, 33, allegedly "whacked" air engineering technician, Zeek Bowen, inside the takeaway, before confronting him again outside the shop in Ilchester, Somerset, on October 2 last year, a court has heard.

Bowen suffered a bloody nose, a swollen lip, and his face was left "drenched" in blood as a result of the incident.

Bowen claimed that Cullerton, from Sunderland, became "aggressive" after he commented that his choice of dish was "a bit heavy after a night out".

A hearing at Bulford Military Court heard that Cullerton admitted he was "drunk" – having consumed up to eight pints – when he visited the Peking Chef after first going to the Dolphin Inn and the Bull pub for an evening out drinking.

Bowen and his friend Shaun Bush, also an air engineering technician, were already in the takeaway waiting for their order when Cullerton arrived – with the pair not familiar with Cullerton.

Bush told the court that after Bowen made the comment about the noodles, Cullerton began "screaming in his face," calling him a "smart a***" before he "whacked" him, leaving him with minor injuries.

Bush told the hearing: "He was mumbling to himself and uneasy on his feet. He started screaming in my face, but I could not work out what he was saying. I was just in shock.

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"It looked like an open hand whack to the face."

Bowen described Cullerton as having a "glazed look" in his eye, before Cullerton punched Bush in the "back of the head" and the pair (Bush and Cullerton) started scrapping.

Their fight was eventually ended when the pair were "brought to the ground" and Cullerton was locked outside the takeaway, before leaving the scene.

The two men made a formal complaint with the Royal Navy’s police force once they returned to base later that evening.

When Cullerton was interviewed, he denied any physical contact, but said that a verbal disagreement had taken place, as his "pride had got in the way".

He denies four counts of battery, with the case still ongoing.

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