Background

This case involved an assault upon a suspected Taliban fighter, Mohammad Ekhlas. He was captured after 4 men were spotted planting a road-side bomb just 150 metres from a military base in Afghanistan. Ekhlas fled but was captured and wrestled to the ground. He was eventually transferred to Forward Operating Base Jackson where he was guarded by a troop of marines led by Captain Wheelhouse and Sergeant Leader, both of 45 Commando.

While in their custody, the two Marines assaulted Ekhlas. Sergeant Leader struck him with a wellington boot. Ekhlas sustained a cut lip, two loose teeth and facial bruising. Both were charged with Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm, contrary to section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Captain Wheelhouse pleaded guilty, and Sergeant Leader was found guilty after a trial by court-martial in which he alleged he acted in self defence.

Sentence: Captain Wheelhouse was sentenced to dismissal with disgrace. Sergeant Leader was sentenced to be dismissed. The case was prosecuted by Colonel Nicholas Clapham L/AGC(ALS) and the trial was before the Vice Judge Advocate General, Judge Michael Hunter. There is no published transcript available, as this was trial by Court-Martial. Please help us to purchase it from Wordwave.

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