When can the police stop you? What is a ‘stop’ under the law?

In the majority of criminal cases, an attorney begins by examining why and how law enforcement came into contact with the client.

For example, in a DUI, Driving While License Suspended, or in the case of drugs in a vehicle or the discovery that a passenger or the driver had a warrant: why was the car pulled over?

In the case of someone unconscious behind the wheel or already stopped: why did the officer have the person, for example, roll down the window or get out of the vehicle?

In the case of an officer stopping someone on the street or on a bicycle and subsequently finding drugs or that the person had an outstanding warrant: why did the officer approach the person?  What exactly was said by the officer?  What was the person doing and where?

In our experience, most people believe that they have fewer rights than they actually do.  You owe it to yourself to become educated on your rights.

Of course, it is always good advice to be polite and professional when dealing with law enforcement.  As we often tell clients: “It ain’t worth getting tased over.”

Even if you feel that an officer is being rude, antagonistic, or unprofessional, you are not helping the situation by responding in kind, and, in some cases you could actually be interfering with an otherwise lawful investigation, resulting in criminal charges.

Officers will often ask, during a traffic stop or on the street:

“Do you mind if I search you (or your vehicle or belongings); or

“Can I search you (or your vehicle or belongings); or

“Can I pat you down); or (our personal favorite):

“’Let’ me search you.”

A good rule of thumb:

If the officer had the right to search you, then why would he or she be asking you? 

If the officer had the right to search you, then why would you have to “let” him or her search you?

In these cases, we often ask people why they would ever consent to such a search.  More often than not, the person will say that they thought they had to let the officer search or that the officer was going to search them anyway.

We then turn the question around and ask the person:

If the officer had the right to search you, then why would he be asking you? 

If the officer had the right to search you, then why would you have to “let” him or her search you?

People don’t typically ask permission to do things that they have a right to do.  Cops are no different.

If the officer believes he has the right to search or conduct a pat-down, he or she is simply going to search or conduct a pat-down.

Consider it this way: if you are at home watching television with your wife, you don’t ask permission to use the restroom—you just go to the restroom.  You don’t say, “Let me go to the restroom.”  It’s your house.  You have the right to use the restroom.

Consider another example: when officers have arrested someone, they don’t ask the person’s permission to search him or her (or in some cases his or her vehicle or belongings).

When officers have a search warrant, they don’t ask the person’s permission to search.

Officers don’t ask to search in these circumstances because they have the right to search in these and other limited situations.

But the cop was going to search me anyway:

Some officers may simply search you or your vehicle or belongings even if you do not consent, but you are not helping yourself any favors by giving them permission.

The law clearly states that the State has the burden of proving the legality of every warrantless search.  This means that if there is no search warrant, valid arrest, or other limited exception  it is much more difficult for the State to use evidence discovered during the search against you in court.

If you simply agree to the search because you think the officer is going to search you anyway, then you have just made the State’s job much easier.

The officer is asking to search because he or she wants to find evidence that you have committed or are about to commit a crime.

An officer, in most circumstances, asks to search someone because the officer is trying to find evidence of a crime.  While officers often do a lot of good in the community, the officer in this situation is not doing you any favors.

Be firm but polite and never physically resist or struggle with the officer.

As stated before, be polite and never physically resist or strike an officer.  You could create more trouble for yourself.  If an officer insists on searching you or your belongings, politely but firmly inform him or her that you do not agree to the search, but never physically struggle with the officer or try to physically take your belongings away from the officer.

Also, as a practical matter, it is incredibly foolish to get involved in a physical altercation with someone who has a gun, taser, and a dozen officers who can respond in minutes for back up.

So, the take-away lessons are:

If an officer asks to search or tells you to “let” him search, politely but firmly say no, and never physically resist or struggle with the officer.

About the Author: Armando Edmiston is a partner at the Law Office of J. Armando Edmiston, P.A.. He defends DUI and criminal cases in the Tampa, FL area.

Witness Production in a Military Court Martial

If you’re in a military court martial, the government is going to bring in every witness that they can get their hands on. They will pay for the witness to come, they often pay the witness for their testimony as an ources/production-and-expert-witnesses/appointment-and-production-of-expert-witnesses/expert-witnesses.html”>expert witness, they can fly witnesses in from anywhere in the world. It’s never a problem because they have deep pockets.

Here’s how it works for the defendant. The defense lawyers have to write up a memorandum about a month before trial with the all the witnesses names. The defense attorneys then have to give it to the government. Not only is it the witnesses names you want to have brought to the court martial, you have to tell the government exactly what the witness is going to say. Some judges require you to write out a long statement explaining why the testimony is relevant, why that testimony will help the defense. You basically have to expose the entire defense strategy in writing, whereas the government just has to tell you the witness’ name.

The prosecution then gets to review your list of witnesses and under the UCMJ they get to deny any witness that they don’t think is relevant, meaning that if they think the witness is helpful. And many cases the government will deny every witness that you ask for. The next step is to then go to the judge and ask the judge, basically beg the judge to allow you to bring witnesses to testify in your defense.

In your request to the judge, you then have to often put more information into that statement as to what these witnesses will say. And in the end, the judge often cuts your witness list down considerably.

What does that mean to the average defendant? You need a court martial attorney that’s experienced in crafting witness lists and an attorney that is experienced in fighting, in getting witness list approved and in fighting the case against odds even if the judge denies your witnesses and the prosecution denies your witnesses.

Former Army Major Gets Life Sentence for Killing Court-Martial

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky.  — A former Army major accused of killing three neighbors to eliminate a witness in a court-martial has been sentenced to life in prison, Kentucky’s attorney general said.

Christian Richard Martin will not be eligible for parole, according to a statement Thursday from Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Jurors convicted Martin after a two-week trial in June in the deaths of Calvin and Pamela Phillips and Edward Dansereau in Pembroke.


The case attracted national attention four years after the 2015 killings when Martin, who was a pilot for an American Airlines subsidiary when he was arrested, was pulled off a jet in handcuffs before taking off from the Louisville airport.

Special prosecutor Barbara Whaley said during the trial that Martin had motive to kill neighbor Calvin Phillips because he was set to testify in a court-martial that could have ended Martin’s Army career, news outlets reported. His wife and Dansereau were in the wrong place at the wrong time, she said.

Whaley said a shell casing at the scene was shown to have been fired from a .45-caliber handgun found in a safe in Martin’s home across the street and that Martin’s dog tags were found in the couple’s home.


Defense attorney Tom Griffiths said there’s forensic proof that the bullets that killed the victims did not come from his client’s gun. He also noted there were no eyewitnesses, no DNA and no fingerprints. He said evidence pointing to his client could have been planted.

Martin was ultimately discharged from the Army and sentenced to 90 days in jail after being convicted by the military court of mishandling classified information and assault on a child, Cameron said.

Pentagon: US troops must get their COVID-19 vaccines ASAP

  • More than 800,000 service members out of around 1.4 million still need to get their shots, according to Pentagon data
  • Of active duty forces, 68 percent are fully vaccinated and 76 percent have at least one dose
  • The Army has the lowest vaccination rate, where 40% are fully vaccinated and 57% have one dose
  • Kirby said the goal was to get the force inoculated ‘as soon as possible’ but did not lay out a timeline
  • Edict comes as COVID Indian Delta variant surges across the United States, and employers including Goldman Sachs tell staff to get shot  

All US service members must get their Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible now that the Pfizer-BioNTech jab is fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

More than 800,000 service members out of around 1.4 million still need to get their shots, according to Pentagon data.

Those who haven’t gotten a shot face a wide range of punishments if they don’t, from sitting down with a doctor to have the ‘risks’ of refusing explained all the way up to a court martial.

Military law experts say it is possible that a service member who refuses could be dishonorably discharged, but most will likely face a far less significant punishment.

Service members are already required to get up to 17 different vaccines, depending on where in the world they are stationed, including jabs for measles, mumps, diphtheria, hepatitis, smallpox and the flu.

Of active duty forces, 68 percent are fully vaccinated and 76 percent have at least one dose, according to Pentagon press secretary John Kirby. Data is less clear for reserve and National Guard members.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directed commanders to impose an ‘ambitious timelines for implementation’ and to provide regular updates on vaccination.

The Army has the lowest vaccination rate, where 40% are fully vaccinated and 57% have one dose. The Navy has the highest, where 73% are fully vaxxed and 79% have at least one dose.

Kirby said the goal was to get the force inoculated ‘as soon as possible’ but did not lay out a timeline.

The figures come as the Indian Delta variant surges across the United States, with more than 150,000 new infections and 1,408 new deaths recorded across the country on August 24. Other employers have ordered staff to be vaccinated before they return to the office, with investment bank Goldman Sachs the latest to issue such a policy on Tuesday.

Pentagon announces that ALL personnel will be required to get vaccinated.

Asked what would happen to service members who refused a vaccination, Kirby noted that they could apply for a religious or medical exemption, and if those were denied, would have a chance to sit down with a physician and sit down with the chain of command so they could communicate the ‘risks’ service members incur in refusing to get vaccinated.

Ultimately, Kirby said, the mandate is a ‘lawful order,’ and said that commanders have a ‘wide range of tools [to encourage forces to get vaccinated] short of UCMJ,’ insinuating the matter could be taken up in military court.

‘I can’t give you an exact answer on every single hypothetical,’ Kirby said, refusing to say what direct consequences would be.

The Pentagon has for weeks said such a mandate was in the works.

‘To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force,’ Austin said in the memo. ‘After careful consultation with medical experts and military leadership, and with the support of the President, I have determined that mandatory vaccination against coronavirus disease…is necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people.’

A total of 34 service members have died from Covd-19 and 1,998 have been hospitalized.

‘Mandatory vaccinations are familiar to all of our Service members, and mission-critical inoculation is almost as old as the U.S. military itself,’ Austin wrote in the memo.

Austin noted in the memo there will be exemptions for medical reasons and a narrow religious exemption.

Military Law attorney Mike Hanzel said that vaccine requirements exist for operational readiness so troops can be deployed at a moment’s notice.

‘Historically, militaries don’t work if people are not operationally ready and they are not deployable,’ Hanzel explained. ‘If Pearl Harbor happens, or 9/11 happens, people need to be ready at a moment’s notice to deploy. And if they are sick, they’re not going to be ready.’

David P. Sheldon, another Military Law attorney, said for those who don’t take the vaccine: ‘In essence, the charge would be you are violating Article 92 by refusing a direct order,’ Sheldon said. ‘And the direct order, in this case, would be to get the vaccine

Of those 12 and older who are eligible, 71.2% of the US population has gotten and 60.4% have gotten both jabs.

The Pfizer vaccine was granted final approval by the FDA on Monday after receiving Emergency Use Authorization in December. Moderna has also applied for full approval of its vaccine, and Johnson & Johnson has said it hopes to do so later this year.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Tuesday Americans can expect many more vaccine mandates now that a jab is fully authorized.

‘You’re gonna see a lot more [vaccine] mandates because there will be institutions and organizations which previously were reluctant to require vaccinations, which will now feel much more empowered to do that,’ Fauci said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

‘That could be organizations, businesses, colleges, universities. We’re even seeing it with the military already.’

President Biden, in a speech on Monday, urged companies to now start requiring vaccines.

‘As I mentioned before, I’ve imposed vaccination requirements that will reach millions of Americans,’ he said.

Biden signed an executive order requiring federal employees and contractors to either get vaccinated or adhere to a regular Covid testing scheme.

‘Today I’m calling on more companies … in the private sector to step up with vaccine requirements that will reach millions more people.

‘If you’re a business leader, a nonprofit leader, state or local leader, who has been waiting for FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that, require it.’

Refuse the COVID19 Vaccine? Article 92 consequences for refusing

The COVID-19 vaccine is not the first vaccine that military members need to receive.

An Air Force spokesperson told the Pentagon that “a total of 17 vaccines are needed for its service members under various circumstances.”

The Military Health System website Required vaccine and dosage For military personnel deployed in various parts of the world, including typhoid fever, anthrax, and yellow fever. Military law lawyer Mike Hansel explains that in most cases there are vaccine requirements in preparation for operation. Service members should always be ready to deploy.

“Historically, if people aren’t ready to operate and can’t deploy, the army won’t work,” Hansel explained. “In the event of a Pearl Harbor attack, or 9/11, people need to be ready to deploy immediately. In case of illness, they are not.”

For the results, both Hansel and another military lawyer, David P. Sheldon, referred to the same section of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Article 92, This deals with not complying with legal orders.

“In essence, you would be accused of violating Article 92 by refusing a direct order,” Sheldon said. “And the direct order in this case is to get the vaccine.”

 Those of the discharges that may be involved here can arise through administrative or non-judicial routes, or in the most serious situations from court martial.

On the lightest management side, there is an honorable discharge. The next level is general discharge under prestigious conditions, and members can deny the benefits of the GI. The most serious administrative discharges are non-honorable discharges, often reserved due to forms of misconduct. Hansel said these are not necessarily considered punishments, but are considered characterizations.

If a service member is convicted at a court martial, it can lead to dishonorable discharge. They have the most restrictions on future enlistment and receipt of benefits. Sheldon told the validation team that while these are technically possible, they believe that refusing the vaccine is unlikely to cause such serious consequences.

“In this situation, I think it’s very unlikely, both for political reasons and simply because it’s really, really unmanageable,” Sheldon explained. “Service members are much more likely to face an administrative type of separation.”

Hansel said permanent punishment could result in how much remarks executives want to make.

“The military may set an example for those who refuse to obey this order because they need to keep order and discipline,” Hansel said.

In an August 10 interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavout, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby was able to receive counseling from an army hesitant to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Said.If that didn’t make sense, he said the chain of command NS He will take administrative measures, but emphasized that the measures under the UCMJ are “very unlikely.”

All this assumes that the order is legal and both of our experts agree that it is legal. If the FDA fully approves the vaccine, it will be an airtight order, but until then, the presidential exemption will fill the licensing gap.

The warning that all vaccine obligations must be followed is two major exceptions that people can legally call: medical and religious tax exemptions, both apply here. A medical exemption by a doctor must be granted. According to Hansel, getting a religious exemption can be a little difficult.

“It needs to be a sincere religious belief,” he said. “If this religious concern began when the COVID vaccine was launched and wasn’t applied to any of the other vaccines that everyone in the military had obtained in large numbers, I think it would probably be an unsupportable argument.”

Therefore, if a military service member refuses to receive the COVID-19 vaccine without a formal exemption, he or she can be assured that he or she can be excluded from military service.

DoD could announce mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy

Following a rise in COVID-19 cases attributed to the delta variant of the virus, multiple media outlets are reporting that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will seek authority to mandate vaccines for the entire active-duty force. Fox News reports that Austin is expected to formally announce a mandatory vaccine policy for active-duty troops on Friday.

Currently, vaccines for COVID-19 are not fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration and approval for use was granted under an emergency authorization. As a result, mandating the vaccine for military members requires a waiver from President Joe Biden. Fox News reports that Austin will ask for a waiver from Biden on Thursday, followed by formal guidance to the DoD on Friday.

The move toward mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for active-duty military personnel comes a week after the Pentagon announced that DoD was in the process of consultations to “determine how and when” to recommend to Biden about adding COVID-19 vaccines to the list of mandatory immunizations troops receive.

Austin, while traveling in the Philippines last week, told a news conference that he would consult with medical professionals and the services on a timeline for implementing a new policy, according to CNN. “But we won’t let grass grow under our feet,” he said. “The President directed us to do something and we’ll get after it.”

Thursday morning, the Pentagon declined comment on reports that Austin would recommend to Biden mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for troops, instead deferring to statements spokesman John Kirby made on Tuesday.

“The secretary obviously wants to consult medical professionals as well as the services,” Kirby said at the time. “And as you know, the way the process works is he would have to request a waiver from the president to — to waive the emergency use authorization as the justification for making it involuntary. So that, as far as I know, has not occurred yet. But I, again, would point you back to what the secretary said. He’s not going to let grass grow under his feet.”

“The delta variant has certainly affected us here in the military as it has affected the rest of the country,” Kirby said. “And when we have more to say about the status of the vaccines, we’ll certainly do that. I don’t think it will be very long.”

The announcement last week that DoD was exploring the requirement of a COVID-19 vaccine for personnel came as Biden ordered that unvaccinated federal civilian workers and contractors would be subject to mandatory testing, social distancing, and masking.

“The Department of Defense is moving quickly to meet President Biden’s commitment to defeat COVID-19, and that includes being able to ensure every member of our civilian and military workforce is protected,” Jamal Brown, deputy Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement last week.

According to Fox News, about 64 percent of the active-duty-force is fully vaccinated, while 70 percent have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Overall, roughly half of the United States is fully vaccinated, and 58 percent of Americans have had at least one dose.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control reports more than a 64 percent increase COVID-19 cases over the last week. The spike in cases puts caseloads on par with levels in February of this year.

This is a developing story. Stay with Military Times for updates.

Don’t let the police search your phone (without a warrant)!

Military Defense Lawyer Answers Commonly Military Law Questions

Don’t let the police search your phone (without a warrant)!

YouTube video

In this video criminal defense attorney Michael Waddington discusses how to avoid a criminal conviction. The easiest way to avoid a criminal conviction is to not commit any crimes. However, even if you’re innocent, don’t speak to the police or give them your cell phone. Call 1-800-921-8607 to speak with a criminal defense attorney today.

Don’t let the police search your phone (without a warrant)!

Criminal Defense Attorney explains in  this video.

What To Expect When Facing A Court-Martial?

Suppose you’re facing a potential court-martial trial and you aren’t exactly sure what it is and how it can affect your life. In general, any person associated with the U.S. military could potentially face a court-martial from the Uniform Code of Military Justice for committing offenses against U.S. military law. If an accused party is found guilty, the punishment usually depends on the crimes and can include reduction in grade, confinement, a punitive discharge, and even prison.

Any member of the armed forces can be accused and end up facing a trial due to unfortunate circumstances. For that reason, if you ever find yourself accused of misconduct and face a court-martial, it’s best to hire an experienced court martial attorney to steer you through the process.

What To Expect When Facing A Court-Martial?

When facing a court-martial, you can presume that the process will be long and arduous. Most investigations can drag on for multiple months before a final decision is made. In brief, as soon as the investigation is concluded, a high-ranking military official will decide whether you’ll face court-martial charges or not. The entire process from being initially charged to trial can take between eight weeks and eight months to process.

Pre-Trial Procedures For Court-Martial

Facing a Court-Martial

At this early stage, the accused party facing a court-martial will be invited to the commander’s office, usually in full-service uniform. The accused is anticipated to stand in attention in the commander’s presence and other high-ranking military officials. These military officials are likely to include a First Sergeant, supervisor, and members from the prosecution’s legal office. A complete script detailing the accusation will be read to the accused, who’s foreseen to remain silent during the process.

The Discovery Phase

The whole process starts with “discovery” being demanded by the uniformed member’s defense lawyer. This allows attorneys to receive documents from the prosecution which inform the defense about all evidence. During the discovery phase, gathering additional exculpatory declarations or documents could heavily influence the case’s outcome.

Final Preparations

Besides motions, which are requests to the judge in the form of written legal documents which might limit or completely prohibit a particular piece of evidence from being used in the trial, the final preparations before the trial include witness interviews, prepping clients, and deciding upon trial strategies and tactics.

Types Of Court-Martial

There are three different types of court-martial which a military member may encounter:

Summary Court-Martial

When a military member gets convicted of a summary court-martial, depending on their rank, the maximum sentence they may face is 30 days of confinement, reduction to E-1, 45 days of unconfined hard labor, and a reduced monthly salary to one third. These types of court-martial can’t result in a discharge of the military, and the process doesn’t involve a judge or jury.

Special Court-Martial

This type of court-martial involves a judge and a panel. The punishments handed out from these are harsher than those from summary court-martial and less severe than the third type of court-martial. The max sentences include one year of confinement, reduced wages to one-third for six months, reduced E-1, hard labor, and restriction.

General Court-Martial

The max sentence in a general court-martial is dependent on the offense committed. If there’s a probable cause, this can be determined by a neutral military lawyer, called a preliminary hearing officer, after an Article 32 hearing. Like special court-martial, a two-thirds majority is demanded from the panel for a conviction. This proportion may be increased to three-quarters if the sentence exceeds ten years of confinement.

Court-Martial Sentencing

If found guilty, the next phase of the court-martial procedure is sentencing. First, the evidence is presented to the court by the government before the defense attorney has the opportunity to respond. The response is a real chance to present any mitigating evidence that may reduce the final sentence.

What To Expect When Facing A Court-Martial?

Photo from The Sun

This can involve any evidence that speaks to the defendant’s character or previous actions that suggest that the defendant deserves a less severe sentence. After this phase of the process, the panel must make up their minds and agree on the verdict. If the sentence comprises confinement, the guilty party or parties will be taken into custody upon the ending of the trial.

Final Thoughts

So, now that you know what to expect from it if you’re facing a court-martial proceeding, try to stay as calm as possible during the process and prepare a winning strategy to keep yourself out of trouble. For that reason, you should consider seeking the assistance of an experienced court-martial attorney to represent you during the case to ensure that you’ll get the most favorable outcome out of it.

GOMORs For Unvaccinated Troops Caught Unmasked | UCMJ Defense

Leaders at Fort Knox, Kentucky, will punish dozens of soldiers unvaccinated against COVID-19 who were caught entering on-post facilities without wearing a face mask last week, Army officials confirmed.

“The Fort Knox senior commander [Maj. Gen. John Evans] and other commanding generals across Fort Knox are preparing to issue approximately 40 General Officer Memoranda of Reprimand to individuals found to have violated General Order Number 1, dated 17 May 2021,” said Fort Knox spokesperson Kyle Hodges in a statement emailed to Army Times.

GOMORs are a dreaded form of administrative punishment considered to be a “career-killer” when included in a soldier’s permanent personnel file, though the Army has faced criticism in the past for utilizing them and other administrative punishments in lieu of court-martial proceedings for more serious infractions of discipline.

The reprimands are among the first publicly-acknowledged punishments for U.S. troops who have declined the COVID-19 vaccine but failed to wear masks.

We have soldiers on the installation who are unvaccinated, but are judiciously and conscientiously following masking guidelines,” Hodges said.

Fort Knox officials did not specify whether the GOMORs would be filed in the offenders’ permanent records or merely retained locally and then destroyed once the soldiers were reassigned.

But in line with current Defense Department and Army policy, the Fort Knox general order requires that troops who have declined the COVID-19 vaccine wear masks when inside of public facilities on post. The order also states that “all persons on Fort Knox may be required to show proof of vaccination in order to access and remain in Fort Knox workplaces and facilities without wearing a mask.”

Under the order, vaccinated soldiers do not need to wear face masks.

The unvaccinated, unmasked personnel were directly caught by Fort Knox senior leaders while trying to enter public buildings on-post, Hodges said.

“In just a matter of hours last week, during random inspections, senior Fort Knox leaders identified several dozen unvaccinated individuals attempted to enter on-post facilities such as the Shoppette and Post Exchange without masks,” Hodges said. “These unmasked individuals failed to provide proof of vaccination.”

Fort Knox officials insisted that the move was directly related to protecting troops against the virus, especially its new Delta variant, which seemingly infects even fully vaccinated people with ease.

“By law and regulation, the senior commander at each installation is responsible for the maintenance of good order and discipline, including force health protection,” Hodges added. “As the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads rapidly across the nation, Fort Knox leaders must continue to ensure the health and safety of those working on the installation and also protect the surrounding community.”

Fort Knox is home to more than 25,000 soldiers assigned to Cadet Command, Recruiting Command, Human Resources Command, and 1st Theater Sustainment Command, among others according to its website.

Hodges said the punishment were a matter of standards, too.

“At the core, this is about enforcing standards and taking care of people,” he said.

Drunk female Royal Navy sailor, 31, who sexually assaulted

A female Royal Navy sailor has been dismissed for sexually assaulting three male colleagues after a drinking session during a cold weather survival expedition in Norway.

Able Seaman Jodie McSkimmings, 31, straddled one sailor and pinned him on a bed before groping him and two others during a drunken ‘spree’, a court martial heard.

McSkimmings committed five offenses over the space of five hours after drinking at least six cans of beer and a bottle of wine.

It saw her demand kisses from male colleagues, refusing to take no for an answer and then trying to undress them.

As well as the three sexual assaults, she also tried to sit on a Sergeant’s lap before hitting him and then punched a Corporal full in the face while holding a beer can.

AB McSkimmings was based at HMS Neptune, the shore establishment at HMNB Clyde, when she was deployed with the 45 Commando Royal Marine Regiment to Norway in 2020.

Prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Michael Culver said her first victim saw her ‘swigging from a bottle of wine’ before inviting him into one of the bedrooms during the deployment.

LtCol Culver told Bulford Military Court, Wilts: ‘After about five minutes of normal talking she then began to repeatedly and explicitly seek not just a kiss but also sexual relations with him.

Able Seaman Jodie McSkimmings, 31, (pictured) straddled one sailor and pinned him on a bed before groping him and two others during a drunken 'spree', a court martial heard

Able Seaman Jodie McSkimmings, 31, (pictured) straddled one sailor and pinned him on a bed before groping him and two others during a drunken ‘spree’, a court martial heard

Able Seaman McSkimming at Bulford Military Court which heard details of her drunken night

Able Seaman McSkimming at Bulford Military Court which heard details of her drunken night.

Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor said it had been a fairly depressing case as he dismissed her

Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor said it had been a fairly depressing case as he dismissed her.

‘He said to her repeatedly that he refused and said she was drunk.

‘She nonetheless proceeded to straddle him, using her body weight to pin him on the bed. She kissed his mouth and put her hand inside his t-shirt to try to unbutton his trousers.

‘She placed his hand on her buttock. He objected several times and then she did stop but proceeded to hurl abuse at him.’

The court heard she later invited another male colleague into the same room where the first sexual assault happened.

LtCol Culver added: ‘He declined but she was insistent and he complied with her request in order to keep her calm.

‘Again she asked initially for a kiss, he said no and that he had a girlfriend.

‘She repeated and was persistent in demanding kisses.

‘She said ‘it’s only me and you here and nobody needs to find out’. He said ‘that’s not the point, I don’t want to’.

She had previously been stationed at HMNB Clyde at Faslane in Scotland

‘He said he was going to leave and she placed her left hand on his crotch.

‘He said ‘what are you doing’ and asked her to get off him and she left the room muttering after that, leaving him shocked.’

Later that evening, at about 7.30pm, AB McSkimmings was taking part in a quiz in the mess hall.

The court heard she tried to sit on the lap of Sergeant Scott Mitchell but he told her he ‘wasn’t impressed’.

LtCol Culver added: ‘Sgt Mitchell describes a punch at 100 per cent force to his lower back. He asked her what was that and she said ‘I will fucking do you in, you are taking the piss out of me’.’

The officer told her to calm down but she then turned her attention to Corporal Stewart Duggans, who was also on their quiz team.

The court heard: ‘She stared at him for two seconds and punched him in the face with a hand in which she was holding a beer can.

‘She punched him with enough force to completely crush the beer can, dispensing beer over his face and clothes.’

Later that evening, at about 9pm, AB McSkimmings entered the room of another male colleague.

LtCol Culver added: ‘She started trying to unzip his trousers and he objected, saying he had a girlfriend.

‘He pushed her hand away and she attempted to grab his zip a further two more times.

‘He felt shocked, confused and uncomfortable. She eventually stopped and stood up, walked out the room and as she did so she said ‘f**K you then’.’

She admitted three charges of sexual assault, a charge of battery and a charge of using violence against a superior officer.

Mitigating, James Cassels said AB McSkimmings was in a ‘head on’ car crash in December 2019 so was ‘vulnerable’ when she joined the 45 Commandos in Norway in January 2020.

He outlined a history of mental health issues including depression and said she was still struggling with this at the time of the incidents due to suffering ‘misogynistic bullying’ from colleagues.

He said: ‘This is a fairly depressing case for me to dealt with and I have dealt with many.

‘She was the only female out and about with them… she felt isolated… she felt she was put down.

‘People were sexually abusive, verbally and misogynistic and this undermined her confidence to such an extent that she felt totally isolated.’

He explained she had been on a museum trip that morning and had had about six beers before heading back to camp, where she drank a bottle of wine and the incidents began.

Sentencing her, Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor said: ‘Over a period of five hours you were, and remained, so intoxicated that you had no recollection of the events.

‘These are very serious matters, both of a sexual and violent nature. We accept that challenging behaviour by your male colleagues took place that significantly impaired your mental health.

‘You say you drank to block out the misery you found yourself in but you did so voluntarily.’

She was dismissed from the Royal Navy and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation days.

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