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Private Fargie (Court-Martial)

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1951

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asked the Secretary of State for War upon what grounds the confirming authority withheld confirmation of the conviction by court-martial of Private Fargie; and in what respects the confirming authority disagreed with the summing-up of the trial Judge Advocate as to the duties and responsibilities of armed sentries.

Lieut.-General Sir Horace Robertson decided to refuse confirmation of the finding of manslaughter after receiving the advice of the Deputy Judge Advocate General, Far East. The opinion of the Deputy Judge Advocate General was that whereas the Judge Advocate at the trial correctly directed the court that a sentry is only entitled to fire upon a person in self defence or in defence of the property which it was his duty to guard, he failed to direct the court upon the legal implications which arise when a sentry fires over the head of a person who after being challenged three times fails to halt and runs away.