After seeing the workings of the Military Justice System first hand, as explained below. Please read sign if you agree that the system needs changing.
On the 18th October 2012, my Husband, a RAF Policeman attended a Regimental Dinner with 1 Platoon, CJPU, Dhekelia. He came home so drunk he could hardly stand and couldn’t undress himself.
At 0800hrs on the 19th October 2012, my Husband was arrested for alleged sexual assault on a female colleague. In just over 24 hours the investigation was ‘complete’ and he was referred for charge.
This week my husband was tried by Court Martial and although there is no physical evidence, no witnesses to the incident and the complainant withdrawing her statement less than 24 hours after making it, on Wednesday 22nd May 2013 he was found Guilty of Sexual Assault. The complainant changed her story on a number of occasions and even admitted on the stand that my husband was unstable on his feet and could hardly stand. She stated that he was that drunk that he was ‘spilling his drink all over the floor’ so she took him for fresh air, walking straight past the main entrance of the Sgt’s mess, where the function was held and into a quite, dark room. She stated, she went in first and he followed. She admitted herself that there was no damage to her tights, and that she had been the subject of rumours and gossip before and was panicking at the thought of being caught in a room with a married man. However, somehow, the panel found him guilty of sexual assault, “beyond all reasonable doubt”.
My husband, after drinking copious amounts of alcohol, as most people do at Regimental functions, was taken in to a room, alone, by the complainant. Her story that followed is not supported by any evidence whatsoever.
We are not holding out much hope of an appeal as there was no evidence to start with so we doubt very much any ‘new’ evidence will turn up. We are currently putting in complaints to every Governing body that will listen about the investigation and how it was conducted. However, this will not alter the situation or the fact the Justice system that my husband worked for, for several years has failed him and our family.
My husband was doing really well in his career and now it has all been taken away on the word of one person. We are not willing to see this happen to other Service person and we want the Court Martial system to be looked at.
A Military Police force whether it is RAF, Army or Navy can pass a case/investigation to Court Martial for a civilian charge/sentence even though the standard of investigation is not required to be the same as a civilian Police force. How is this fair?
I am proposing that any Service person that faces a civilian charge should be allowed to have their investigation looked at by a civilian Police force to make sure that the investigation is up to the standard that you would expect in a civilian Crown Court. Service police forces do not have an independent governing body, this is something that needs to change.
I am also proposing that as it the constitutionally guaranteed right of Criminal Defendants to be tried by their equals, they should have the option to take their case to Crown Court. During a Court Martial the number on the panel is decided by the Military Court System. All members are Officers usually meaning they are educated to the same standard, have passed out of the same training establishment and hold a position of responsibility and authority in whatever trade they belong to. So I ask, how can a Wing Commander, Squadron Leader or a Major been seen as the equivalent to a Private Solider or any other Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO)
All I am asking is that you sign this petition so we can propose to make the changes mentioned to make sure no other serving person or their family faces the miscarriage of justice that we have had to face.
Amanda Sheppard started this petition with a single signature, and now has 2,488 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.