Tayside and Central Scotland

Marines sentenced over 'depraved' initiation of colleague

Three Royal Marines have been sentenced to military detention for subjecting a colleague to a "depraved" initiation.

Carlo Nicholson, who was made to drink from a paddling pool of urine, said he has felt suicidal after the incident.

The 40-minute "humiliation" was carried out by marines from 45 Commando, based in Arbroath, in May 2014.

Marine Ian Tennet, 22, L/Cpl Scott Simm, 26, and L/Cpl James Taylor, 27 were sentenced for a charge of ill-treatment of a subordinate.

Tennet was given 11 months and two weeks' detention, while Simm and Taylor, who is from Birmingham, were both sentenced to eight months.

A fourth defendant, former Marine Ryan Logan, 25, was sentenced to 220 hours of unpaid community work for battery and disgraceful conduct of a cruel kind.

'Suicidal thoughts'

Sentencing the men at Portsmouth Naval Base's court martial centre, Judge Advocate Robert Hill said the "joining run" event had been "40 minutes of depravity and naked humiliation".

He said: "The suggestion has been made it was nothing more than a rite of passage, and its purpose was not to humiliate, harm or distress but to harness bonding, and is something all Royal Marines Commandos have gone through - but it's no more than conduct that brings disgrace on the Commandos involved."

He added: "It has been noted with considerable concern that more senior non-commissioned officers haven't found their way to the court martial system.

"Had they done so the likely position they would face is a starting point of a term of imprisonment."

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Nicholson, who is suing the Ministry of Defence over his treatment, said: "The incident has left me feeling like I just want to be alone and I am pushing people away. This includes my girlfriend and daughter.

"As a direct result I have been having suicidal thoughts."

Mr Nicholson, who has since left the service was forced to run naked around the camp with bottles of milk and lemonade taped to his arms along with other new recruits.

He was made to lie down in the paddling pool containing urine and vomit while eggs were thrown at him, as well as to fight other marines while naked and covered in cooking oil.

He was also made to eat dog food out of a tin while on all fours.

The court heard that Logan was solely convicted in relation to a "water-boarding incident" where he placed material over Mr Nicholson's face and poured water over it while others watched, but he was not involved in the other offences.

A MoD spokesman said that it was carrying out a probe into the circumstances of the case to establish any "lessons that could be learned".

He said: "Bullying, harassment or abuse of any kind is contrary to the culture, values and ethos of the Royal Marines and, as we have seen today, will not be tolerated."

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