A ROYAL Marine drill instructor who bullied new recruits, including hitting one in the groin with a pace stick, has avoided a jail sentence.
Corporal Peter Clark pleaded guilty to the three offences of ill-treating subordinates at Portsmouth Naval Base court martial centre and has been fined £1,750. The 39-year-old admitted grabbing Marine Recruit Matthew Scott round the throat, hitting MR Joshua Croxford in the testicle with a pace stick, and hitting Adam Lushman in the face with combat boots.
A pace stick is a long stick carried by a drill instructor as a symbol of authority and it is used to set a marching pace.
The offences took place in May and June last year at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon. A panel of three senior officers determined the sentence handed out to Clark, a married man whose wife gave birth to his sixth child just two weeks ago.
Judge Jeff Blackett said: "There is no place in training for physical and mental abuse that has the potential to harm the morale of recruits. The actions you took crossed the line of acceptability."