Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.
UK

Sandhurst Officer Cadets Cleared Of Battery Relating To 'Waterboarding'

Officer Cadets Jonathan Cox, 25, and Edward Wright, 24, denied assaulting fellow Officer Cadet Edward Flower at the Royal Military Academy.

Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

Two Officer Cadets have been cleared of battery relating to an incident in which they were accused of waterboarding a colleague at Sandhurst.

Officer Cadets Jonathan Cox, 25, and Edward Wright, 24, denied assaulting fellow Officer Cadet Edward Flower at the Royal Military Academy.

In police interviews, they insisted Mr Flower, now a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, consented to what happened.

Judge Advocate Alan Large discharged the three-strong board trying the case at Bulford Military Court in Wiltshire on Tuesday for legal reasons.

Hours later, prosecutor Colonel Richard Allen told the court that discussions had taken place with Mr Flower.

"As a result of those discussions, the Crown no longer intends to proceed with the case," Colonel Allen said.

He confirmed that the Crown would be offering no evidence against both Mr Cox and Mr Wright.

Judge Advocate Large said: "In those circumstances, I enter not guilty verdicts in respect of both counts."

Mr Flower, giving evidence on Monday, said he had been confronted by Mr Cox and Mr Wright near his room just after 6pm on August 7.

The Military Court at Bulford Military Camp in Wiltshire (Picture: PA).
The Military Court at Bulford Military Camp in Wiltshire (Picture: PA).

Mr Flower claimed Mr Cox grabbed him by his ankles and twice lifted him off the floor, before Mr Wright picked up a field dressing and said "Let's waterboard him".

The complainant told the board that 500ml was poured over his face, with the field dressing lifted up to expose his nose and mouth at one point.

"I didn't struggle as I felt it would make it worse, but I don't think I was willing or consenting," he told the court martial.

In interviews with the Royal Military Police, Mr Wright said the incident began when he and Mr Cox threw field dressings at Mr Flower.

Mr Wright told officers that Mr Flower threw some dressings back at them before they "got him on the floor", Colonel Allen said.

"He admitted that he had placed a dressing over Mr Flower's face and poured a tiny amount of water on him - only enough to fill a shot glass," the prosecutor said.

"There was no resistance. He concluded that by not saying anything, Mr Flower was consenting to what was being done to him.

Mr Cox told officers that he could not recall lifting Mr Flower upside down but said he and Mr Wright moved him a "short distance down the corridor".