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Posted November 29, 2012 at 6:47PM
I see that one Judge got it wrong and then three Judges got it right.
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Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:23PM
Firstly D Notices were done away with a long time ago.
They are now DA notices, and are not legally enforceable, and are only advisory, like the press code of conduct, which doesn't mean very much.
"My wife's cousin is a High Court Judge, spuds, and two of my brothers have been police officers for many years. I probably know a good deal more about the system than you do."
Not getting at you in particular FE, but all the comments here about knowing the system, and juries and QCs are totally irrelevant.
This was a Court Martial under the auspices of the Judge Advocate General's Office. not the CPS.
Despite many changes over the last few years, and a lot of Human Rights nonsense, it is still a very different system, with very different standards.
The standard -
"What made you think he as drunk, Sergeant?"
"His eyes was glazed, his speech was slurred and his gait was unsteady. That concludes my evidence, sir"
"Anything to say? Fined two days pay. March him out"
is still very much the norm.
I've charged and been charged, been a witness, been an escort, done time, been a many time and long term defaulter, been fined been arrested, been a "prejudiced witness" at a Board of Enquiry (that doesn't mean what you think, it means that my liberty, and pension, could be affected by the outcome, and I was allowed to question all witnesses, but not allowed any legal representative!) and have had a Summary of Evidence taken.
Unless you know all, or at least most, of these then you are not familiar with the system.
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Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:42PM
Years ago this would have been dealt with in the unit with a slap on the wrist or at worst an RTU. These days a Sgt in the SAS should know better than to keep a trophy like this at home. He could easily have donated it to the unit and even used it in a military unit. On a recent visit to a similar establishment there were many such trophies - even the CO had a chromium plated Kalashnikov above the office door - given by a grateful US SF unit. In view of his history maybe he should have been given a suspended sentence in the first place,bu he has only himself to blame for having a weapon at home, whatever the system or advice he was given.
I once had all manner of things (not actual weapons, but for example, booby trap switches),at home but destroyed them many years ago, or gave them to military museums. These days there is little tolerance for such things at home - quite rightly.
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Posted December 4, 2012 at 10:33PM
I understand there are differences in the Courts martial system, I'm from a military family remember. Rules may vary, but not the law - All members of the Forces Law Courts-Martial panel are independent lawyers in private practice who specialise in providing skilled advice and assistance.
The rules of evidence are identical to those in the civil courts, although there are obviously differences in procedures. The law isn't different, just because you're a soldier.
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Posted December 4, 2012 at 10:51PM
I seem to remember that the Defence Correspondent of the Telegraph called it a D Notice but, no matter, we know what it means.
There were no Courts Martial in the Affair that I have mentioned though a good friend of mine ended up under Close Arrest. He became an Income Tax Inspector when he retired so the powers did not hold it against him.
If there had been any Court cases they would have had to close down the best part of the V Force First Division (North).
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Posted December 4, 2012 at 10:56PM
I wonder if morddwyd is slightly out of date. The Armed Forces Act 2006 effective in 2009 changed service discipline and is now the same for the Navy, Army and RAF. It used to be that procedures were different. I spent some time on an RAF station and can state that their airmen were not as well represented for summary punishment as in the RN. I have no experience of Army discipline. Nowadays, and to a certain extent in my days, you had to rule out head injuries with drunkenness and although I could and did declare someone was drunk I had to be very careful.
I am in agreement with john bunyan. He had a gun at home where it should not have been plus rounds of ammunition. There is no dispute over that fact as far as I am aware. Therefore guilty but with mitigation. People are confusing innocence with mitigating circumstances.
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