Drunken Edinburgh Tattoo sailor went on insult tirade at boozy lunch

Edinburgh Tattoo. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Edinburgh Tattoo. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A drunken sailor got so hammered on free alcohol at a Royal Navy lunch he couldn’t carry out his duties at the prestigious Edinburgh Tattoo later that evening, a court martial heard yesterday.

Christian Ramsay was due to act as petty officer to the guard at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, carrying out important ceremonial duties at the renowned event in front of VIP guests.

However, the 39-year-old instead spent the ceremony being looked after by a Royal Navy colleague after he got ‘seriously drunk’ at a military lunch hours before.

At the lunch, which included a number of senior guests from armed forces around the world, PO Ramsay ‘over-consumed’ the free alcohol and became so drunk he ‘lost all self-control’ and ‘embarrassed himself and his colleagues.

A court martial heard today the sailor was ‘completely out of his head’ and bizarrely took it upon himself to ‘swan around’ the reception ‘offending people’.

PO Ramsay made distasteful jokes about ‘rape’ to a female colleague, made offensive remarks to a senior Indian military representative about his heritage, and told an offensive joke to US military personnel about ‘USA’s history’.

The court heard PO Ramsay still tried to insist he was in a good enough condition to carry out his duties at the Tattoo.

PO Ramsay, who is based in Faslane, Scotland, and has served with the Royal Navy for 18 years, was fined £1,500 at Portsmouth Military Court, Hants, for his drunken antics on August 26, 2016.

He admitted two counts of unfitness through alcohol and Assistant Judge Advocate General Robert Hill said his behaviour ‘could not be more of a disgrace to the navy’.

Prosecutor Captain John Atwill said: “Put simply, he had very clearly over-consumed a very large amount of the free alcohol and his behaviour descended at the lunch reception to the point where a number of people had to intervene.

“His behaviour while drunk is almost difficult to describe, he was seriously drunk and pretty much every element of his self-control was gone.

“He did rounds of the reception trying to offend people. Perhaps the most troubling was when he approached a young woman.

“He knew the woman and said to her ‘do you want to hear a joke?’ She didn’t want to hear a joke, she knew his jokes were bad and made it clear she didn’t want to hear one.

“He asked her if she wanted to be raped, she said ‘I do not’ and he said ‘that’s the spirit’ and walked off.

Cpt Atwill added: “Everyone could see that he was getting more and more drunk except from himself, he insisted that he was fine and could carry out his duty.”

Lieutenant Freddie Huntley, defending, said the father-of-one accepts his behaviour, and added: “He still has not drunk, he said this is a life choice, a permanent resolve, as alcohol does not agree with him.”

In a letter to the court, PO Ramsay said: “I want to publicly and sincerely apologise.”

“I feel ashamed of myself and I am currently taking action to help myself and prevent this ever occurring again in any way.

“I know my behaviour at the function was wholly unacceptable for that of a senior rate.

“Again, I deeply regret my actions and I value the medical and emotional support to me throughout this time.”

Fining PO Ramsay, Judge Hill said: “The drunkenness and behaviour that followed frankly could not be more of a disgrace to the Royal Navy.

“The Tattoo is a prestigious event and you were at the reception before swanning around completely out of your head.”

He added that he accepts PO Ramsay is remorseful and has rehabilitated himself.

The lunch at which Petty Officer Christian Ramsay ‘over-consumed’ free alcohol was held at Edinburgh’s historic civic buildings, less than a mile from Edinburgh Castle.

The lunch was called the ‘Lord Provost Reception’ and that office - which dates back to the 13th Century - is held by the city’s civic head.

Edinburgh’s current Right Honourable Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost is City of Edinburgh Councillor Frank Ross, who assumed the role in April last year, after PO Ramsay had disgraced himself.

The Lord Provost represents the council on the board of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the role is similar to that of a mayor.

Important civic receptions for visitors are held at the Lord Provost’s office.