Teetotal Arbroath marine '˜waterboarded with cider'

A TEETOTAL Royal Marine recruit has told a court martial how he was waterboarded with cider as part of a humiliating initiation ceremony at a Scottish base.

Royal Marines in Afghanistan
Royal Marines in Afghanistan

Carlo Nicholson, who has never drunk alcohol, said a large bottle of cider was poured onto a towel over face by other Marines.

The waterboarding was part of a series of tasks and punishments which formed an initiation ceremony into 45 Commando, based at Royal Marine Condor, Arbroath.

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Portsmouth Military Court, Hants, heard Mr Nicholson and other new recruits were made to fight while naked and covered in cooking oil and eat dog food out of a mess tin.

Other tasks included lying in a pool of urine and vomit.

Former marine Ryan Logan is accused of ‘reefing’ Mr Nicholson - striking him with a leather belt when he failed a task and also of waterboarding him.

The court heard, Mr Nicholson, who joined the marines in January 2014, had spoken to someone about possibly leaving before the initiation on 7 May 2014.

Mr Nicholson left 45 Commando in December 2014 and told the court the initiation ceremony “destroyed” his dreams of a military career.

Fiona Edington, defending Ryan Logan, said: “To confirm you say he hit you with a belt once, and hit you with a new implement three times.

“And he had the bottles of cider when you were waterboarded.”

Mr Nicholson replied: “Yes, of course. I first saw the bottles when the towel was removed and Logan was holding them.”

Marine Ian Tennet, 32, is also accused of the ill-treatment of a subordinate, while ex-Marine Logan, 25, faces trial for battery and disgraceful conduct of a cruel kind.

The court heard a total of 26 new recruits took part in the initiation ceremony which some described as a bonding exercise.

When asked if he had been aware of the joining run being a marine tradition, Marine Anthony Murphy told the court: “Yes, it was.”

Marine Kane Hyett said after the initiation he felt closer to his colleagues.

He said: “I wanted to do it. Before the joining run I was getting ready, setting up, getting the kit ready.”

The trial continues.