Marine convicted for role in initiation ceremony

RM Condor.
RM Condor.

A Royal Marine and an ex-Marine have been convicted of playing a part in an initiation ceremony at RM Condor which saw a new recruit lie in a paddling pool of urine and vomit while eggs were thrown at him.

Carlo Nicholson had told a court martial he was made to take part in a “joining run” where recruits had to participate in a series of humiliating tasks and drinking games.

Mr Nicholson claimed he was waterboarded with cider, forced to fight other marines while naked and covered in cooking oil, and to eat dog food out of a mess tin.

He accused Marine Ian Tennet, 23, and former Marine Ryan Logan, 25, of playing a part in the joining run into 45 Commando, based in Arbroath, on May 7, 2014.

Other tasks included running around camp naked, eating chilli and cinnamon powder, eating lard, and drinking bottles of lemonade taped to his arm.

Mr Nicholson told the court that “reefing” - being hit across the backside with a belt and then later a rubber tool - was used as a forfeit when he failed or came last in finishing a challenge.

Captain Alison Towler, prosecuting, had told the court: “This case involves an unethical and inappropriate initiation ceremony. It was organised and to an extent structured.”

Marine Tennet was convicted of one charge of ill treatment of a subordinate.

He told the court the joining run was similar to a Freshers’ Week at a university, adding that no-one was forced to do anything they didn’t want to.

Former Marine Logan, who now works in the oil and gas industry, was convicted of one charge of battery in regards to hitting Mr Nicholson with a belt, and one charge of disgraceful conduct of a cruel kind relating to the waterboarding.

He was cleared of three counts of battery, relating to “reefing”.

Logan admitted striking Mr Nicholson with the belt, but denied waterboarding him.

Marine Scott Simm, 26, admitted one count of ill treatment and ex-Marine James Taylor, 26, admitted the same charge.

Mr Nicholson, who had discussed leaving the marines before the joining run, left the service in December 2014 after joining in January 2013.

All four defendants will be sentenced at a later date.