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Soldier wins case after being disciplined for being absent from post for a sandwich run

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A soldier has won a legal challenge over being disciplined for being absent without leave from his post after he went to get a sandwich

A soldier has won a legal challenge over being disciplined for being absent without leave from his post after he went to get a sandwich

A soldier has won a legal challenge over being disciplined for being absent without leave from his post after he went to get a sandwich

A soldier has won a legal challenge over being disciplined for being absent without leave from his post after he went to get a sandwich.

The High Court quashed four convictions received by Private Fintan Corr, stationed at McKee Barracks, Dublin, in a trial that followed a summary investigation conducted by his commanding officer.

Pvt Corr was convicted of disobeying a lawful command of a superior officer to remain at the Military Justice Centre, housing the military court, at McKee Barracks from 9am until 12:30pm on November 16, 2012.

He was also convicted of being absent without leave for 25 minutes from his post between 12:05pm and 12:30pm and of two counts of behaving in an insubordinate manner towards a superior officer.

Private Corr, who the court heard had an excellent record since he joined up in 2006, said he was told by a superior office to be outside the Military Justice Centre and to stay there at all times.

Around 12:05pm he left the centre to get a sandwich. He thought this was an appropriate time as the court rose at 12:30pm. He said the canteen opened at 12:18pm and he was back at 12:22pm.

Some days later Pvt Corr was charged and brought before a hearing before his commanding officer who asked if he wished to have the charges disposed of summarily or by way of court martial.

Pvt Corr, who said he did not know the seriousness of the charges, elected to have the matter dealt with summarily and was convicted.

evidence

He brought High Court proceedings against the Director of Military Prosecutions the Minister for Defence, Ireland the Attorney General and the Commanding Officer of McKee Barracks.

Pvt Corr claimed the convictions were unfair and unreasonable on grounds including that the disciplinary process he was subjected to was procedurally flawed.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan said that he was satisfied from the evidence the determination of the commanding officer in this case was made without jurisdiction and must be set aside and all the convictions quashed.

hnews@herald.ie


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