Three Royal Marines have been sentenced to military detention for their part in an initiation ceremony which involved subjecting a colleague to “40 minutes of depravity and naked humiliation”.
Carlo Nicholson, who was made to drink from a paddling pool full of urine and vomit, said he was left feeling suicidal after the “joining run” event – which was watched by 80 men – and carried out by 45 Commando, based at Royal Marine Condor in Arbroath in May 2014.
Marine Ian Tennet, 22, Lance-Corporal Scott Simm, 26, and James Taylor, 27, who is now a lance-corporal in the Royal Marines Reserves, were all sentenced for a charge of ill-treatment of a subordinate.
Tennet was sentenced to 11 months and two weeks’ detention, while Simm and Taylor 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.
Sentencing the defendants at Portsmouth Naval Base’s court martial centre, Judge Advocate Robert Hill said the 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 said the defendants had been described during the court hearing as scapegoats. “It is not the purpose of this court to set itself up as a board of inquiry,” 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.”
Simm pleaded guilty.
Tennet was found guilty after a trial.
Taylor, from Birmingham, who now works as a security guard, pleaded guilty.
Logan pleaded guilty. The court heard that Logan was solely convicted in relation to the “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.