York & North Yorkshire

Harrogate Army instructors on trial for 'recruit abuse'

Army Foundation College in Harrogate Image copyright Geograph/robert murray
Image caption The instructors were based at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate

Ten Army instructors have gone on trial for charges relating to the physical abuse of teenage recruits.

The non-commissioned officers face 31 charges, including 25 of ill-treatment and six of battery, dating from June 2014.

The defendants all deny ill-treating 12 recruits while they were instructors at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

The trial is taking place at the court martial centre in Bulford, Wiltshire.

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The charges allege the recruits were slapped or punched, spat at, grabbed by the throat, forced to eat manure and had their faces submerged in mud.

The defendants are:

  • Sgt Simon Girault, of 1st Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, accused of four charges of battery and five of ill-treatment
  • Staff Sgt Steven Harrison, of 3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, accused of one charge of battery and one of ill-treatment
  • Sgt Thomas Bryan, of 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, accused of one charge of battery and one of ill-treatment
  • Staff Sgt Brian Crawford, of 152 (North Irish) Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, accused of six charges of ill-treatment
  • Cpl Andrew Armitage, of 156 Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, accused of one charge of ill-treatment
  • Sgt Mark Graham, of the HQ Defence Food Services School, Royal Logistic Corps, accused of four charges of ill-treatment
  • Acting Sgt Steven Duncan, of 1st Battalion Scots Guards, accused of four charges of ill-treatment
  • Acting Sgt Daniel Royle, of 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, accused of one charge of ill-treatment
  • Cpl Anthony Thomas, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, accused of one charge of ill-treatment
  • Sgt Robert Comley, of The Queen's Dragoon Guards, accused of one charge of ill-treatment.