Marines’ nights like university Freshers’ Weeks, court martial told

April 22 2016, 8.55amUpdated: April 21 2016, 9.14pm
© SuppliedCarlo Nicholson
Carlo Nicholson

A marine compared an alleged Angus initiation ceremony in which new recruits stripped naked, lay in vomit and ate dog food to Freshers’ Week at university.

Marine Ian Tennet, 32, is accused of ill-treatment of a subordinate, Carlo Nicholson during a 45 Commando “joining run” at RM Condor in Arbroath.

He claimed he was sober and there “to keep the peace” adding that no-one had forced anyone to do anything.

Tennet said getting naked was a regular occurrence at marines’ social events.

Captain Alison Towler, prosecuting, told the hearing Tennet said in an interview on June 18 2014: “My involvement was a sober head, a sober mind there.

“I just watch as there were like 50 lads, watching to not let it get out of hand.

“We organised it on a company social, celebrating many things – the lads leaving, new lads joining and a Colour Sergeant leaving later that night – we were celebrating that night.

“It was normal drunk activities, you would see if you walked into a rugby club or Freshers’ Week at a university.”

I do not know what was in it. I assume the lads being sick, it was probably filled with sick or something like that.

Tennet said there was dog food and he did see mess tins but nobody was made to eat anything.

He said he remembered seeing Mr Nicholson and him saying that he did not drink.

He added: “The naked lads went to the area of oil like a slip and slide if you know what I mean, but nobody was covered in it.”

“There was a paddling pool, I don’t know where it came from or who brought it but I was nowhere near it.

“I do not know what was in it. I assume the lads being sick, it was probably filled with sick or something like that.”

The court previously heard that the ‘initiation ceremony’ on May 7 2014 was a welcome into 45 Commando.

Tennet denies one charge of ill treatment of a subordinate.

At a Royal Marine piss-up everyone always gets naked pretty much. I think it is a tradition when everyone gets drunk, everyone gets naked.

Former marine Ryan Logan denies four counts of battery and one charge of disgraceful conduct of a cruel kind.

Mr Nicholson claims that, as well as the demeaning tasks, he was also whipped with a belt by Logan and that he was later ‘waterboarded’ with cider.

Captain Towler, reading from Logan’s interview, said: “It was a standard piss-up like the Royal Marines have.

“At a Royal Marine piss-up everyone always gets naked pretty much. I think it is a tradition when everyone gets drunk, everyone gets naked.”

He added: “To be honest I do not think [Nicholson and I] see eye to eye. I do not think he likes me, I do not like him as a Marine.

“It is only my opinion but it seemed he did not want to get involved in the exercises, or get involved with us, or do work with us.”

Another marine recruit said he wanted to take part in the “joining run”.

“I was given a list by another marine while I was in the supermarket doing my shopping, he showed me a list and I just presumed I should get the same.

“I did not attend any meetings about it.”

He added: “We were pre-drinking earlier on from about five in the evening.

“I had quite a bit to drink before the joining run started. I would say I was fairly tipsy.

The trial continues.

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