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Interesting court martial on the horizon, General in the dock.

Alamo

LE
I agree.

Would a CO rely on that evidence? Do many Pte/JNCO ranks refuse requests from WO/SNCO for statements that can prosecute others and what training in The Rules of Evidence would these statement takers get?
The hearing officer can require to have evidence given in person, and the accused has the right to it.
 
He hasn’t got there yet, hit point is valid, CO is there to decide punishment not guilt, and they’ll have worked that out before hand in his opinion, mine too.

No, CO is empowered to determine guilt first.
 
In all but one of the cases I've heard, they have been absolute offences, and as such, there was no real defence nor an attempt to defend themselves. There was mitigation (of varying quality).

The single case where the defendant pled not guilty, the SPA did me a favour and directed it straight to CM.
 
In all my time, only ever saw one 'Not guilty' finding. Basically it was a he said/he said affair and the accused lied brazenly and bare-facedly on CO's orders, magically producing from his pocket a form he had only remembered that morning. Everyone knew he was guilty, he would have been bust from LCpl to Siggie, but because it could not literally be proved, and he was cunning enough to muddy the waters, he walked.
 
In all my time, only ever saw one 'Not guilty' finding. Basically it was a he said/he said affair and the accused lied brazenly and bare-facedly on CO's orders, magically producing from his pocket a form he had only remembered that morning. Everyone knew he was guilty, he would have been bust from LCpl to Siggie, but because it could not literally be proved, and he was cunning enough to muddy the waters, he walked.

So practically like thousands of court cases then. “No Comment” in interview, then 3 months later in court, come out with a defence that the prosecution are in no position to refute.
 
In CAARPS case, being rear-ended would generally exonerate him and result in not guilty. In your case however as you knew it was wet, knew you had shit boots and knew the pedals were bare metal you’re bang to rights for negligence so - guilty, a fine to sharpen you up plus a stoppage of pay to help pay a proportion of the damage.

March out please Sarn’t Major!

ETA: Fined two Green eggs and placed under stoppages of a small Weber....

Well yes, all agreed (except the proportionality of the actual fine in my case :) ), but my question still stands: What would @CAARPS be charged with?

If ”the Army” knows there is no evidence to support a charge of negligence (because he wasn’t), what kind of kangaroo justice system would charge him with it? It goes against the very grain of everything the Army stands for and defends, to proceed with a baseless charge. Perhaps that was why the FMT3=252 equation no longer held water.
 
It is worrying that officers who are apparently in a position to, or indeed have, conduct SH seem to believe otherwise.
Not at all. But my experience is like many others who have commented. The overwhelming majority of SH are for "routine military offences" - it's really not complex or complicated to conduct an SH for an ND or sleeping on stag.
 
ISTR some figures being published in the mid to late 2000s for the average cost of training Soldiers and Officers during a full career.
Much Rum has been consumed since then, but I'm fairly sure it was approx. £9000 for a Soldier and upwards of £30000 for an Officer. I also seem to remember the average time spent in training being published, but I haven't a clue of the figures. Again significantly higher for Officers due to their long courses.

That either says a lot about post RMAS PME, or that has been estimated down.
Early 90s it was estimated @£25k just to get an Ocdt to RMAS.

Given courses would include basic training, special to arm, junior officer/NCO development, other professional courses etc, ICSC, maybe HCSC etc, I suspect that's a lot higher
 
For CO's orders there is usually a unit investigation. The evidence is gathered (usually the CSM etc) and put in an evidence pack. The pack and the charge sheet is served on the accused and the CO not less than 24hrs before the summary hearing. If there has been an RMP interview, then the interview under caution of the accused would be in the charge pack and so the CO would already know what was being relied upon by the accused.

If the CO read the evidence pack and decided that he had a reasonable doubt (the evidential test) then orders would be cancelled. If not then orders go ahead. On the Record of Summary Hearing the CO goes through the questions. If the charge is admitted then no questioning required (the majority of cases), if denied then an examination of the facts and that is when the accused gets his say - invariably for unit investigations when no RMP interview has occurred eg why were you late on parade?

If the CO has read the PACE interview transcript where the accused has raised any defences (usually with legal representation and advice) before the interview and compared it to the evidence served, if he decides that there is a reasonable doubt at that point then he should cancel orders as that is the test he has to meet at the end of orders. The logic therefore is that if orders go ahead in those limited circumstances the CO has rejected the defences raised in the PACE interview and the accused will be found guilty. "March in the Guilty B**** " applies! In those circumstances if the accused considers he is innocent then he knows he is to be found guilty and should elect for court martial at the outset.

JSP 830 Chapter 9 sets it all out
At what point does the evidence pack go up to Legal? I haven't seen a major sanction happen without some sort of delay in waiting for an output from Army Legal for seems like years (not a dig, no doubt a busy and understaffed dept).
 
I would argue that in the vast majority of instances that emphatically is the case.
But not for nefarious reasons. When Pte Bloggs is alleged to have had an ND on the range, with the RCO, safety staff and 11 other firers witnessing it...
 
Are service personnel required to give evidence during the investigation prior to Summary Hearing? This whole ”it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned” thing, how badly can it harm the defence? Hypothetical situation:

Pte Smith and Pte Jones have a blazing row at work. Smith always parks in the far left slot on the first row. Smith drives into work, and Jones’ car is in “his” slot. A blazing row ensues in the troop office, and there are lots of witnesses. SSgt Stacker says “Right. Calm the fcuk down, get over it“, and everything is ticketyboo. For now. Smith is unusually tall, 6’4”.

Later that night, about 8pm, Jones’ car is vandalized with a can of orange paint being thrown over it. This happens to be caught on CCTV in the barracks, and it’s an unusually tall person throwing the paint.

RMP investigate, the altercation comes to light, and Smith is squarely in the frame. It so happens he’s on leave that day, and so they go to his MQ to interview him. As they walk up to his front door, they notice an open can of orange paint in his garden. They seize it as evidence, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the very same shade of orange. Smith is inevitably charged.

Smith feels wronged by the system and is determined not to play ball with this nonsense. He says ”I have nothing to say about that” during interview, interspersed with “no comment”.

Smith goes on OC’s, pleads not guilty and requests CO’s. in front of the big man now.

What have you got to say, Smith? Well sir, the whole thing’s a fit-up. That day happened to be my niece’s 12th birthday, and we had a family dinner at Pizza Express in Woking. My brother and I split the bill, and here is my receipt. We were a bit late getting out of there, we then went to the cinema to watch “The Hill”, which started at 7pm, and you can see from the receipt here that I left the restaurant at 6.40pm. Here’s a receipt from the cinema, and another one from the concession stand showing where I bought popcorn in the intermission at 8.10pm. Not sure if I’ve mentioned before Sir, but my brother is Major Bruce Ponsonby-Smith, OC A Coy, 1 LOAMSHIRES. He also brought his 2IC and another company commander, as they are godparents to my niece. In addition, I’m sure I’ll be on the CCTV at both the restaurant and the cinema.

”Case dismissed. March out, Sarn’t Major. Adjutant - stay here for a moment, would you”.

Obviously a load of contrived nonsense, but Smith has a cast-iron alibi, but was determined not to play ball with the attempt to fit him up by giving away anything before trial that could possibly be twisted, have holes picked in, or used against him. How can it harm his defence, if he chooses to keep his powder dry and shoot down “the prosecution”’s case at a moment of his choosing? He has a cast-iron alibi, it clearly wasn’t him. Davis in R Tp was the actual culprit, he hated both Smith and Jones, so saw his opportunity to stitch up Smith while doing Jones’ car over, but that never came to light.

Is Smith required to give evidence of substance and disclose relevant facts during the investigation?
 
No it is not. Even where a case has been referred by a subordinate commander, and no matter what any legal advisor says, the CO has to satisfy himself of guilt.
I don't know I'm not a CO but there should be minimal doubts after the case has been processed by Army Legal / SPA. The vast majority of cases will be open and shut. I have no doubt that he said/she said cases will bbq handled appropriately, however that may be.
 

QRK2

LE
No it is not. Even where a case has been referred by a subordinate commander, and no matter what any legal advisor says, the CO has to satisfy himself of guilt.

Indeed and it is the mind set being displayed here that is the most concerning, but not particularly surprising, element of many responses.
 
I never had an ND, but it was always the perceived wisdom that the weapon involved should be immediately seized, treated as evidence, and subjected to an armourers inspection. Any sort of minor defect - especially trigger pull weight - might constitute a defence.
 

Alamo

LE
I don't know I'm not a CO but there should be minimal doubts after the case has been processed by Army Legal / SPA. The vast majority of cases will be open and shut. I have no doubt that he said/she said cases will bbq handled appropriately, however that may be.
Not at all, the defendant may offer fresh evidence, and witnesses may do likewise under questioning. The legal advisors will state for sure if there is no chance of a case standing up and drop it accordingly. It does not follow that anything they do push forward is open and shut.
 

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