And the Brits think we’re the heathens, out in the colonies.
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 following the “joining run” event – watched by 80 drunken 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” and added: “It is not the purpose of this court to set itself up as a board of inquiry. 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.”
Military training: During the initiation event, described in court as a “rite of passage”, Mr Nicholson, along with other newcomers to the unit, was forced to run naked around the camp with bottles and milk and lemonade taped to his arms.
He was made to lie down in the paddling pool containing urine and vomit while eggs were thrown at him, as well as to fight other marines while naked and covered in cooking oil.
He was also made to eat dessert spoons of chill, cinnamon and curry powder, eat dog food out of a mess tin while on all fours, eat lard and swallow liquid through a funnel as well as made to consume the contents of a mess tin filled from the paddling pool which also contained a rollmop herring, lard and cider.