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

QRK2

LE
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.

It's good to hear as that is basically the procedure set out in Pam 21.
 

Alamo

LE
That nothing is open and shut. It sounds like you're saying that every case a CO sits on is at least 50/50 when you've got at least 2 people here saying that isn't the case.
You first used the phrase. I have been a junior subordinate commander, senior subordinate commander, CO and DCM member. I would estimate the number of Orderly Rooms I have held to approach 3 figures. In almost all, but by no means all, there was a case to answer. On many occasions the accused answered it to my satisfaction and the charge was dismissed. On no occasion did I do what legal told me to, and I never accepted the fact that the case had been forwarded to me as an assumption of guilt. If others have done, bad on them.
 
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You first used the phrase. I have been a junior subordinate commander, senior subordinate commander, CO and DCM member. I would estimate the number of Orderly Rooms I have held to approach 3 figures. In almost all, but by no means all, there was a case to answer. On many occasions the accused answered it to my satisfaction and the charge was dismissed. On no occasion did I do what legal told me to, and I never accepted the fact that the case had been forwarded to me as an assumption of guilt. If others have done, bad on them.
what's a junior and senior subordinate commander??
 
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 it was a he said/he said affair. there were no independent witnesses, but everyone knew he was guilty and he brazenly and bare-facedly lied on CO's orders. He produces evidence which I take it contradict the original allegation and because you had no evidence to prove that allegation you had no choice but to drop the charges. But he was still guilty?

Was one half of the he said/he said part an officer or SNCO? No wonder there doesn't appear to be a lot of faith in the military justice system.
 
what's a junior and senior subordinate commander??

I suspect, given that Alamo is a crab (so far as I can work out), that he means a OF3 and OF4 subordinate commander.

I didn’t realise until Staff Course that Squadron OCs are not COs (although it’s obvious in the title!), and as a result that they have to refer some discipline upwards and their disciplinary powers are devolved from their Station Commander.

But I might be wildly wrong.
 
I suspect, given that Alamo is a crab (so far as I can work out), that he means a OF3 and OF4 subordinate commander.

I didn’t realise until Staff Course that Squadron OCs are not COs (although it’s obvious in the title!), and as a result that they have to refer some discipline upwards and their disciplinary powers are devolved from their Station Commander.

But I might be wildly wrong.
Possibly? I thought unit and sub-unit command was common joint terminology? @Alamo also referred to being a senior subordinate commander and a CO?

Certainly under AFA06 min rank required for SH is OF3 and, for army types, mandatory to have completed summary hearing discipline course, accepting that the name may by now have changed. It is revisited on the CO des cse.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Back at you - why should officers drive?
When I need to get from the South Coast up to Cambridgeshire on Friday, work the weekend, then get home... should some poor AB be tasked to pick me up, drive me there, do... something, not sure what (drive 150 miles back home? Hang around an otherwise-deserted base until Sunday?) then turn up to collect me on Sunday afternoon?

Or should I just drive myself, the way my civilian employer expects me to get to offsite stuff (and they pay me more than twice what the Navy does, as the nearest proxy for importance...)

Holding the Queen's commission is nice'n'all, but having a retinue of junior ratings around acting as chauffeurs doesn't look either cost-effective or a good use of their time.
 

Alamo

LE
Pre-AFA06 the RAF system was that charges were heard by a hierarchy of flight commander (Junior Subordinate Commander), squadron commander (Senior Subordinate Commander) and station commander (CO). You can’t directly tie those roles to ranks as squadrons can be commanded by either OF3 or OF4 depending on their nature.

As JSC I would hear a charge, and if found guilty deal with it at my level unless I had insufficient powers of punishment, at which point I would refer it up to the SSC. In turn he would hear the charge and, if he found it proven, issue punishment or if necessary (due to insufficient powers of punishment) refer it up to the CO. Note that each level had to satisfy themselves of guilt,the decision of subordinate commanders not being binding.

The majority of charges were dealt with at flight commander (OF2) level, only being referred up under 2 conditions. Firstly, the individual had a poor disciplinary record and any appropriate punishment exceeded the powers of the JSC, and secondly some offences carried a minimum tariff so went straight in at the minimum level (eg a JSC had no powers of detention so there was no point in him hearing a charge that required it if proven).

Post-AFA06 there is a strange anomaly in that, as ATG correctly states, on an RAF station the Station Commander alone has the powers of CO. On ops though squadron/wing commanders can be classed as COs depending on the operational CoC. I certainly had the powers of CO in Afghanistan which I didn’t have in the UK.

Danny is incorrect that unit/sub-unit command is common joint terminology, it’s an Army thing Any usage it has in the RAF is to help the Army understand.
 
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?
The Police caution was changed in about 1995 when Michael Howard was Home Secetary. Before it was something like "you have the right to remain silent but anything you do say may be taken down and used against you in evidence.' to 'you do not have to say anthing but it may harm your defence if you fail to mention now, anything you may later rely on in court, anything you do say may be taken down and used in evidence.'

What was happening was that up to 1995 scrotes were being told by their briefs to say 'no comment' to all questions in a police interview. When the case got to crown court the Defence would spring a suprise defence in the case which the Prosecution would be unable to refute leaving the scrote to walk.

The theory was that if this happened in future the Prosecution would say " well you had the opportunity to say that in the police interview but you went 'no comment.' In practice it didn't work out quite like that. Before the police interview the brief and the scrote would get together and write out a prepared statement after being presented with the police evidence. At the start of the interview the brief would explain on tape that he had advised his client to go 'no comment' to all questions and Mr Scrote duly went ;no comment' in the interview.

Judges didn't like the change anyway as the right to silence had been in force since the Magna Carta so if it was brought up in court that he had gone 'no comment' in interview as an 'inference' to the court, the defence would point out that Mr Scrote was only taking the advice of his Brief which the Beak usually agreed with, so it probably had little effect on the Jury. The springing of a suprise defence was ended though as the Defence had to produce a written 'Defence case' which they were going to rely on in court which had to be served on the Prosecution (CPS) a specified amount of time before the court case.

If your case as it is an allegation of a criminal offence when the RMP go to Smithy's MQ, see the open can of orange paint in the garden and seize it as evidence, they should then put the allegation to Smith, arrest him and take him to a PACE compliant RMP station.

When he is booked in by the RMP custody Sgt, he should be reminded of his right to free legal advice. When Smithy's solictor has arrived the RMP carry out a PACE compliant interview with the solictor presence with full details of the allegation and pointing out exhibit RMP/1 (the paint can) which should be presented in the interview. As he is innocent and has a caste iron defence with witnesses, CCTV, etc Smithy should reveal all this on tape and answer any questions put to him ( remember Smithy is innocent, this does not apply if you are guilty).

The RMP should then bail Smithy to return at a later date while the RMP make further enquires re his alibi. After doing this and finding that he was indeed telling the truth and close the case as 'No further Action, insufficent evidence.' Smithy's chain of command would need to be updated at all stages of the investigation.

Of course there is still the case of 'who dunnit' and I am sure Corporal Sherlock Homes of the RMP would like to catch the real culprit - that complete ball bag Taffy Davis of R Troop but unless there are any further leads to implicate him even Cpl Sherlock would have to close the case as 'No further leads evident.'

Of course I have no idea of the exact way the RMP would carry out the investigation but as the RMP have to be PACE compliant I would guess it must be similar to the civilian police. Perhaps @westmonkey can advise
 
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Do the RMP investigate every allegation against AFA06?
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
When I need to get from the South Coast up to Cambridgeshire on Friday, work the weekend, then get home... should some poor AB be tasked to pick me up, drive me there, do... something, not sure what (drive 150 miles back home? Hang around an otherwise-deserted base until Sunday?) then turn up to collect me on Sunday afternoon?

Or should I just drive myself, the way my civilian employer expects me to get to offsite stuff (and they pay me more than twice what the Navy does, as the nearest proxy for importance...)

Holding the Queen's commission is nice'n'all, but having a retinue of junior ratings around acting as chauffeurs doesn't look either cost-effective or a good use of their time.
But can you work in your car?
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
That nothing is open and shut. It sounds like you're saying that every case a CO sits on is at least 50/50 when you've got at least 2 people here saying that isn't the case.
How many of them are/were COs?
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer

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