Justin Hugheston-Roberts and Joey Kwong appear in Court Martial Appeal Court

08 April 2024

Mr B, a former service man, was charged with 11 counts of rape, threats to kill with a knife, inflicting grievous bodily harm, and other offences against his ex-partner of two years. 

Even though at the time of his trial he was a civilian, he was serving in the Royal Air Force at the time of charge, so he was tried at a Court Martial sitting in Catterick Garrison North Yorkshire

In the circumstances, Justin and Joey submitted that Mr B should therefore be tried by a civilian Board. 

In a preliminary ruling, the Judge Advocate in a Court Martial ruled he did not have the power to determine the constitution of the Board, this being a matter for the Court Administration Officer, who had already determined this should be a service Board. 

Justin and Joey appealed against this ruling, with the Secretary of State intervening in the appeal. After hearing full written and oral arguments, the Court Martial Appeal Court agreed it was indeed the Judge Advocate who has the power to determine the constitution of the Board. The Court Martial Appeal Court further clarified the law on when an ex-Serviceman is entitled to be tried by a civilian Board.

Link to judgment