Private James Farrell 3 Lands (Att)

A trainee soldier who stabbed a knife into the bed of a comrade has been jailed for six years for attempted murder.

Private James Farrell, 18, plunged a knife into the bed of the "ringleader" of a group of fellow trainees who were bullying him at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire.

Prosecutors said the blow was aimed at Rifleman Curtis Horbury's head and he had to roll out of the way to avoid being stabbed.

Farrell said he just wanted to scare Rifleman Horbury so that he would leave him alone and denied attempted murder.

Vice-Judge Advocate General Michael Hunter told the private:

"You reacted in the way you did because you were being verbally bullied and because you couldn't take it.

"Following that blow, instead of retrieving the knife and continuing your actions you took no further action. You did nothing. This, we find, is because although you had clearly intended to kill, you at that point realised the enormity of what you had just intended to do."

The soldier said he had "lost it" before the incident on November 13, 2016.

Bullying allegations are now the subject of an ongoing independent investigation by the Royal Military Police (RMP), according to Commander Douglas Ward.

Private James Farrell

Farrell also admitted possessing 42 rounds of live ammunition and 30 rounds of blank ammunition and will be dismissed from the Army.

He was jailed for six years for attempted murder and four months for the ammunition offences, with the terms to run concurrently.

The soldier, who is from Halifax and was with the 2nd Infantry Training Battalion, will serve half his sentence in prison and the rest on licence.

Pictures courtesy of East News Press Agency.

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