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Historical Accuracy

Hello all,
Just to explain -
In addition to my day job, one of my hobbies is writing fiction.
I have a story character who served as a soldier in Northern Ireland in 1986. He was reprimanded for seriously beating a young Republican lad who attacked him with a scaffold pole.

I wonder if any servicemen who were actually there at the time would mind helping out with filling in the details of what would have happened to this character as part of his reprimand.
Court Martial?
Civilian prosecution?
Discharge?
Prison?

All info gratefully received.

H
None of the above since a Reprimand is a punishment. Beating a Republican in 1986 would probably have resulted in a promotion.
 
ABH & GBH are civil offences which, in the period you are were not about, could only be dealt under Section 69 (IIRC) of Army Act 1955, namely “Committing a Civil Offence Contrary to....”. It would be very unusual (implausible) for a civil offence committed by a soldier against a civilian in the UK to be dealt with under Section 69; the civil authority has precedence.

Soldiers found guilty of offences in a criminal court accepted that court’s award. If it was a custodial sentence, invariably they were discharged. But note that a soldier dealt with in a criminal court could not then be tried for the same offence in a military court; see my next point.

Dishonourable Discharge was a punishment available only to a Courts Martial (and specifically not a criminal court or a CO). The offences for which it was available in the timeframe you are writing about were clearly described in Army Act 1955. My recollection is that Dishonourable Discharge was not an award available for Section 69 offences, but I’m quite possibly wrong.

If you want to get this right, you really need to read the sentencing guidelines in Army Act 1955 or find someone who can walk you through them.
Crown immunity ended in 1988 iirc so that may also impact on the overall factual integrity, maybe something the op may want to consider
 

smeg-head

ADC
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You'd have had more room to move, if you'd listened to me, and left them fookin' scaffolding poles behind the boathouse in the first place.
I did, that's why the boathouse is a different colour now. It was all the other chaps plus about a dozen of West Ken's finest trying to get in on the act. Dozy feckers read the signal wrong; they though it said Cover Operation! Nothing worse than missing T.
 
A civil offence might be more realistic.
A lad from my lot glassed another soldier in a pub,in a row over a woman(the d**k).
He was court martialed,sent to Colchester for a short time,then on to a civvy prison.
Civvy nick means instant discharge,at least it did in the early 90's.
BTW,in that same period a lot of (mainly) young lads were getting booted for drugs. Cannabis and E seemed the drugs of choice.
 

Fang_Farrier

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A civil offence might be more realistic.
A lad from my lot glassed another soldier in a pub,in a row over a woman(the d**k).
He was court martialed,sent to Colchester for a short time,then on to a civvy prison.
Civvy nick means instant discharge,at least it did in the early 90's.
BTW,in that same period a lot of (mainly) young lads were getting booted for drugs. Cannabis and E seemed the drugs of choice.
I seem to recall longest possible sentence at MCTC was 2 years, anything awarded longer than that at a Court Marshal was served in a civilian prison.
 
Just testing. Or rather the fog of time has removed much of my capacity to remember trivia!

Section 63 applied only outside the UK and IIRC only for offences against civilian persons or their property. You couldn’t use Section 70 outside of the UK because it only covered civil offences under British law and British law didn’t apply in Germany.
British Service Personnel (and in certain circumstances their dependants and other civilians) are subject to British Law wherever they serve in the world. Section 70 covered it and most serious offences were charged under it.

" 70 Civil offences.
(1)Any person subject to military law who commits a civil offence, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, shall be guilty of an offence against this section."

Now covered under Criminal Conduct Offences under the Armed Forces Act
 
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I seem to recall longest possible sentence at MCTC was 2 years, anything awarded longer than that at a Court Marshal was served in a civilian prison.
You are right,and 2 years Colly would be horrendous.
The chap in question did less than 2 years,but definitely went to civvy nick. The military justice system works in mysterious ways,as we know(march the guilty bastard in etc).
 
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British Service Personnel (and in certain circumstances their dependants and other civilians) are subject to British Law wherever they serve in the world. Section 70 covered it and most serious offences were charged under it.

" 70 Civil offences.
(1)Any person subject to military law who commits a civil offence, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, shall be guilty of an offence against this section."

Now covered under Criminal Conduct Offences under the Armed Forces Act
The next bit of Section 70 went on to state that the offence had to be punishable under English law. There are offences against both the person and property that are punishable under foreign law but not British. IIRC 63 was used for those and it certainly did not apply in NI which was the point I was making.

Army Act 1955
 
The next bit of Section 70 went on to state that the offence had to be punishable under English law. There are offences against both the person and property that are punishable under foreign law but not British. IIRC 63 was used for those and it certainly did not apply in NI which was the point I was making.

Army Act 1955
It was this comment I was trying to help you with

" You couldn’t use Section 70 outside of the UK because it only covered civil offences under British law and British law didn’t apply in Germany. "

Section 70 was used outside the UK on a regular basis both on COs Orders and at Court Martial to deal with "Any act or omission punishable by the law of England or which, if committed in England, would be punishable by that law; It was also used in NI.

For example offences committed in Iraq in 2003 knownas 'Camp Breadbasket':

3: L/Cpl Darren Larkin and Cpl Daniel Kenyon are charged with committing a civil offence contrary to section 70 of the Army Act 1955, that is to say battery contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
 
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What would time in Colchester involve?
Depends.
If the soldier is being discharged,he will get some training to help on civvy street ie plumbing,bricklaying etc.
'Soldier On' is like being back in recruit training,but x10.Loads of p.t.,mil training,bu****it inspections and suchlike. Lots of blokes get promoted after a spell there.
The re offending rate is low,about 5% or something like that.
 
D

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What would time in Colchester involve?
Don't forget 1986, everything is sweet the army loves you, whether your fighting with locals or jumping gate .
By 1989, there was a distinctly chilly wind and I noticed the increase in soldiers going to the nick and then getting dumped out of the services. At the time I didn't think much about it.
A year or two later that was more noticeable and by early-mid nineties the great cull is on and anyone caught doing pretty much anything, was likely to face the OC and gone after a spell in the nick.

Back in 86, a spell with the Regimental police or RMPs was a badge of honour for many. Said, you had some character. Oddly in time of heavy conflict, those characters are the ones who would do something heroic.
 
I seem to recall longest possible sentence at MCTC was 2 years, anything awarded longer than that at a Court Marshal was served in a civilian prison.
I rather think the 2 years sentence at the MCTC meant you did 6 months were then dekitted and booted out. The GCMs I was involved in (1970s/to mid 80s) - granted as a menial Assistant defending officer or junior on the panel all seemed to have that as a sub plot, unless the CO or Brigade Commander really wanted then back.
 

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