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Illicit CP - June 2005
The People, London, 12 June 2005
Paras' sick babooning torture
MoD probe elite unit
By Phil Nettleton
ROOKIE soldiers are being thrashed with whips and canes in a barbaric ritual known as "babooning".
The initiation ceremony - which leaves the backsides of teenage squaddies red raw with bleeding cuts - takes place in the elite Parachute Regiment.
And, embarrassingly for the Army, it follows a pledge to stamp out bullying in the wake of incidents at Deepcut training camp in Surrey. The appalling ritual is nicknamed after the animal baboon - famous for its red bottom.
A senior Army source told The People: "This type of behaviour is a disaster for the Paras and for our forces as a whole."
The new scandal is being investigated by the Royal Military Police after one 17-year-old recruit in 216 Signal Squadron plucked up courage to complain.
Signalman David Wood told how he was forced to drink five pints of lager at the Paras' barracks in Colchester, Essex.
Some of Britain's finest soldiers then pulled down his trousers and queued to deliver vicious blows to his buttocks.
Babooning is so common, say insiders, that "stirrups" where the victims stand have been drawn on the mess floor. Handprints have also been drawn on a table.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed a complaint was being investigated, but said: "We are not prepared to comment further."
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