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I see that four soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland have admitted to beating up an off-duty New York copper, in New York. Rather surprisingly, they were sentenced to community service and fined. I’d have thought that doing over a NY doughnut muncher would have been punished rather more severely than that.

The rucus happened at 4am while the soldiers were there on a rugby tour. Something tells me that booze might have been involved.

Having been on a few rugby tours, I can testify that not only are booze and high-jinks allowed, they’re rather obligatory, the pay-off being, of course, that what happens on tour stays on tour. Much to many a rugger-bugger’s relief.

However these boys weren’t just on a rugby tour, they’re British Army soldiers on a rugby tour and, while boozing and fun is allowed at the right time, doing over local coppers, or anyone else, most certainly is not. Whatever the details, better than that is expected and I hope exemplary punishments are on the cards back here. Six months in the Colchester Glasshouse at least, I should think.

(Talking of rugby, I cannot allow England’s fine victory over Australia today at Rugby HQ to go without comment. Well done chaps, and thoroughly enjoyable stuff over a pint or four.)

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