Monday, March 19, 2018

Judge halts UK recruit abuse trial after RMP failures

In 2014 allegations emerged of wide scale abuse of recruits at the Army Foundation College, a training establishment at Harrowgate in Yorkshire. An investigation by the Royal Military Police led to 18 NCOs and SNCOs being charged with assault and ill-treatment of subordinates. Three trials were to take place, "the Harrowgate 10", "the Harrowgate 2" and "the Harrowgate 6". Today Assistant Judge Advocate General, His Honour Judge Alan Large stayed "the Harrowgate 10" trial as an abuse of process after it emerged that the RMP decided not to investigate evidence pointing away from the defendants' guilt. Judge Large condemned the RMP for a "seriously flawed" and "totally blinkered approach" to the investigation.

The Prosecution offered no evidence against "the Harrowgate 2" and "the Harrowgate 6".

Details of the trial and the comments from the solicitor for three of the accused can be found here and a summary of the evidence that was heard before the trial was stopped can be found here.

The case has led to calls from the campaign group Liberty.

While the case has raised significant concerns about the RMP's decision and training it is important to note that the case was stopped following defence applications to an independent judge. Colonel Simpson, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff has said "Given this ruling, the Service Prosecuting Authority and the Royal Military Police will be conducting a review to ensure that lessons are learned", perhaps the first lesson for RMP is be sure your sins will find you out...

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