Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Prison Term for Ex-Sailor; Royal Navy Court Martial Leads to Spell in Military Jail

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Prison Term for Ex-Sailor; Royal Navy Court Martial Leads to Spell in Military Jail

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDY HUGHES

LIKE his father before him, it was his dream to serve his nation in the Royal Navy.

But today after a moment of madness, Sam Holbrook's life lies in tatters as he faces a military prison.

The 21-year-old spent two years serving his country as a specialist engineer in the Navy before he requested to leave because he was homesick and missed his girlfriend.

But nearly six months later he was still more than 420 miles from his Tyneside home because he didn't have permission to leave the base in the south west of England.

In a fit of frustration, he insulted his commanding officer and now faces a month in a military jail as punishment, despite the fact he no longer serves in the Navy.

From his home in Station Road, Wallsend, Sam said: "As a kid it was always my dream to follow in my dad's footsteps and serve in the Royal Navy.

"I enjoyed it at first, but as time went on I just got more and more homesick and fed-up with the whole thing. I finally realised it wasn't for me anymore, so I asked to leave.

"But nearly six months later, I was still there. A lot of my colleagues who requested to leave were away within weeks.

"I couldn't stand it anymore.

That's when I snapped. I know I shouldn't have done, but I did."

Sam, who has now been discharged, says he initially put in the request to leave the Royal Navy Air Service base in Culdrose, near Plymouth, in January this year, but claims his application wasn't submitted to the Royal Navy head office until March.

On June 16 the disgruntled aircraft engineer enjoyed a night out drinking with his colleagues, but did not show up for duty the next day.

As a punishment, his senior officer, Commander Martin Bravery, ordered him to weed the runway while it rained.

Sam, whose dad Robert has served in the Royal navy for 32 years, said: "Two of his juniors came up to me and said Commander Bravery wanted me to weed the deck. …

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