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Evening Argus, Brighton, 16 June 1965
'He Beat Ratings With Gym Shoe'
- Court told
LT. GEOFFREY ROBERT MARTINDALE, of H.M.S. Devonshire, was alleged at a court-martial at Portsmouth today to have given unofficial punishments to two young naval ratings by beating them with a gym shoe.
Martindale, the ship's laundry officer, pleaded not guilty to nine charges. These alleged that he beat two young ratings, gave improper orders, tried to force a rating across his knee, and threatened another with unofficial punishment.
The circumstantial letter, read by Lt. John Sessions, said that while the ship was in dry dock at Portsmouth a junior seaman, Nigel Emmans, was 30 minutes late returning to the ship.
He climbed on board over the quarter deck. Martindale knew about this and gave Emmans the choice of being on a charge or having a beating with a gym shoe. Emmans chose the beating, which took place in the laundry.
The rating's buttocks were bruised, and Martindale told Emmans not to take a bath that night in case someone noticed the marks.
Another rating, William Mackay, was beaten by Martindale while they went on "rounds".
The letter added that later at Liverpool, again while on "rounds" at 3.15 a.m., Martindale tried to force Mackay over his knee for beating, but Mackay resisted. Later he told Mackay he could choose between a beating or a kit roster. Mackay chose the kit roster.
The Times, London, 17 June 1965
Naval Officer Is Dismissed ShipFrom our correspondent
Portsmouth, June 16
A naval lieutenant, Geoffrey Robert Martindale, aged 33, formerly of the guided missile destroyer Devonshire, who admitted giving unofficial punishments to two junior ratings, was dismissed from his ship and severely reprimanded at a court martial at Portsmouth today.
He was found Guilty of threatening to give an unofficial punishment to a third rating but Not Guilty of six other charges alleging indecent conduct and giving improper orders.
The Court heard evidence from two ratings alleging that Martindale hit them with a gym shoe. The accused man said he hit only one of them with a gym shoe and the other with his hand. The Court accepted his account.
Martindale told the Court he realized he was doing wrong but thought his punishments were "short, sharp and possibly expedient."
Mr Geoffrey Heather, for the defence, said there was no evidence of indecency. "It is not indecent to beat someone on the bare backside, otherwise the courts would be full of housemasters from some of the best-known public schools."
Captain David Williams, commanding officer of H.M.S. Devonshire, said the accused man was "one of the finest helicopter control officers that the service has today."
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