Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tech and crime: an example from the Royal Navy

One of the more interesting themes in contemporary military justice concerns the interplay of technology and discipline. Examples include the role of social media, the internet, blogging, and digital photography, each of which has figured in major disciplinary cases (think Private Manning, Abu Ghraib, Israel's "Facebook mutiny," the urinating Marine snipers). A current example is mundane but deserves to be added to the list: the use of a scanner and computer in generating forged signatures has led to the conviction of a Royal Navy senior officer, as explained in this article from The Daily Mail
A captain in the Royal Navy 'deceitfully' forged the signature of an officer who accused him of harassment and bullying in order to 'protect himself' from future complaints. 
Captain Edwin Tritschler, 48, of Yeovilton, Somerset, forged the signature of Lieutenant Commander Christopher Bovill on documents to bring an end to the 'never-ending' list of complaints against him. 
He has now been convicted of two counts of forgery and cleared of a further count by a board of five male captains at at Portsmouth Military Court Centre. 
Tritschler was given a severe reprimand, a full forfeiture of seniority and was fined £5,000 for his 'deliberate' and 'deceitful' actions. 
The court heard he used a scanner and a computer to help forge LC Bovill's signature on three separate documents. 
The forged appraisal forms were created by Tritschler to show the complaint department he had given clear management advice to Bovill.
UK readers: could Capt. Tritschler have been reduced in rank, rather than just seniority?

Presumably Lt. Cdr. Bovill has obtained some form of relief through the complaints system -- or will.

1 comment:

  1. In the UK system reduction in rank is a punishment only open to the Court Martial when the defendant is enlisted. When the Court Martial does reduce someone in rank the sentence is governed by AF(MPLPRR)R 2009.


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