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Armed Forces: Young People

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people under 18 years old serving in the armed forces have been court-martialled in each of the last five years; and what charges were brought at each court-martial where proceedings have been completed. (220314)

The following table shows the number of people under 18 serving in the armed forces who have been court-martialled in each of the last five years; and what charges were brought at each court-martial where proceedings have been completed.

Number of under-18s who have been court-martialled

Charges

Royal Navy

2003

0

2004

0

2005

0

2006

1

2 x assault by beating

1 x attempting to unlawfully and maliciously wound

2007

0

Army

2003

1

2 x absence without leave

1

1 x aggravated vehicle taking

1

1 x assault occasioning actual bodily harm

1

1 x handling stolen goods

1

1 x indecent assault on male person

Total

5

2004

1

1 x assault occasioning actual bodily harm

1

1 x unlawfully inflicting grievous bodily harm

Total

2

2005

1

3 x conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline

2

Each charged: 1 x assault occasioning actual bodily harm

1

1 x assault occasioning actual bodily harm and 1 x common assault

1

1 x battery

1

1 x unlawful wounding and 1 x assault occasioning actual bodily harm

Total

6

2006

1

1 x absence without leave

1

1 x affray and doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice

1

1 x assault occasioning actual bodily harm

Total

3

2007

1

2 x absence without leave

1

2 x fighting

2

Each charged: 3 x battery

1

3 x sexual assault

3

Each charged: 1 x assault occasioning actual bodily harm

1

1 x battery

1

1 x harassment

1

1 x inflicting grievous bodily harm

Total

11

As the table shows, some individuals had more than one charge brought against them.

The number of people under 18-years-old serving in the Royal Air Force who have been court-martialled in the last five years is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.