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I just feel sorry for Army thugs who blinded me; DISCO VICTIM TELLS OF ATTACK.

A HOLIDAYMAKER blinded by drunken British squaddies on Cyprus said yesterday: "I feel sorry for them."

Brave Jeremy Caprio spoke out as nearly 400 soldiers were banned from the Cypriot resort of Aya Napia. The ban is likely to be extended to all 3,500 Brit troops on the island.

Jeremy was blinded in his right eye and suffered a broken nose and damaged ribs after five soldiers attacked him for no reason as he left a disco in Aya Napia.

Recovering in hospital, the 35-year-old businessman said: "When I realised what had happened, my first feeling was that I wanted an eye for an eye.

"Then I realised that shouting and screaming wouldn't do much good. I feel sorry for the soldiers to have this on their consciences. I'm sure that if you brought the guy who did it here right now, he'd regret it.

"People do strange things when they've had a lot of alcohol."

Jeremy was out for the evening with his sister Lisa and cousin Paula when he was attacked.

He said: "There was no trouble in the disco. But as I left I heard someone say `Oi!' I turned round and they jumped me. I was trying to keep three of them off me. A friend said there were at least four or five. A boot came into my face and the next thing I knew I'm here.

"I'm still hoping doctors can do something about my damaged eye. If they can't, I've still got another one. But my snooker won't be so good!"

Jeremy, of Thornton, near Blackpool,was cheered up last night by the arrival of his fiancee Janice Galloway.

His mum Sheila, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, was also in touch by phone.

Five soldiers were arrested but only one was picked out by witnesses. He is a member of the First Battalion Royal Tank Regiment on UN peace- keeping duty.

Military authorities refuse to name him. But yesterday his commanding officer banned all his troops from Aya Napia. Referring to a possible ban on all other Brit soldiers serving on Cyprus, an Army spokesman said: "The situation regarding Aya Napia is being looked at."
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Author:Disley, Jan; Dowdney, Mark
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 16, 1998
Words:361
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