Army Foundation College in Harrogate

Seventeen former army instructors are due before a court martial next month charged with assaults on recruits.

The group from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate are facing a total of 40 charges including actual bodily harm and battery.

According to The Mail on Sunday, the alleged abuse includes instructors pushing the recruits heads underwater until they choked and forcing animal excrement into their mouth during exercises. It also claims some of the instructors repeatedly punched and kicked the teenagers.

The court martial follows a three-year investigation by the military police into claims made me six recruits who were 17 at the time of the alleged attacks.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the 17 former recruit instructors will face a trial but refused to provide names or a list of charges, adding that it would not be appropriate to comment further.

They will appear at the Bulford Court Martial Centre in Wiltshire on September 21 and 22.