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HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Captain has his position relieved for “misuse” of official car

Discussion in 'General Military & Topical News' started by AngryArgie, May 17, 2019.

  1. AngryArgie

    AngryArgie Member

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  2. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Yes. If the allegations are true he lost that command because of poor judgment.
     
  3. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    newspaper-2.jpg
     
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  4. Omega

    Omega Member

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    By taking the vehicle without permission he had committed the following criminal offences;

    Taking Vehicle Without Owners Consent contrary to s12 of the Theft Act 1968 (because he took the vehicle without permission of the MOD)

    Theft contrary to s1 of the Theft Act 1968 for the fuel he stole whilst using the vehicle.

    Potentially forgery contrary to the forgery and counterfeiting act 1981 if he doctored the work tickets.

    Then there are the armed forces act offences that he committed;

    Misuse of service property for starters.

    As he took the vehicle and used it without permission, he was driving without proper insurance which is an offence within itself.

    Whilst the act of using the car appears minor, he has, at least legally speaking, committed some rather serious offences.
     
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  5. AngryArgie

    AngryArgie Member

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    He was permitted to use it for “official” purposes, surely that’s consent to use it in legal terms, however he obviously didn’t use it for “official” purposes but is that breaking the law?

    “An innocent mistake has cost the Navy one of its best.”

    The Commodore was sacked this week after an investigation found he had been using the Ford as if it was his own.

    It is not yet known what personal trips Mr Cooke-Priest had been using the car for.

    But the officer is said to have paid for petrol and there is no allegation of fraud

    So surely the only thing he has actually done is “misuse of service property” purely speculating though as I don’t know the law or military law at that
     
  6. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    I'm no expert on the intricacies of service law but the answer is almost certainly contained within your own question.
     
  7. AngryArgie

    AngryArgie Member

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    Surely that isn’t an offence punishable under military law though is it? He obviously should have only used it for the purposes that it was given to him for but I wouldn’t expect a law to exist that’s been broken by him doing so.

    Then again I’m no expert either, I just thought it was a bit extreme
     
  8. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    This individual has not been convicted of an offence. He has been relieved of his command and reappointed elsewhere. There is a difference.

    He can't have been universally popular as he might well have been dobbed in by one of his own shipmates.
     
  9. Omega

    Omega Member

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    Not neccesarily @Chelonian, these days almost all whitefleet vehicles are fitted with a GPS tracking system that's regularly audited.

    @AngryArgie You're missing the point. If you have not given express permission for someone to conduct a journey using your vehicle then they have fulfilled the criteria of s12 Theft Act 68. It matters not that they have had previous permission for other journeys, each journey is to be authorised.

    As to the fuel, it matters not whether he refilled the vehicle, the fuel he has used on the journey is the fuel he has stolen.

    Finally, “An innocent mistake has cost the Navy one of its best.” An innocent mistake is spilling your coffee on someones sofa. His actions were repeated over a period of time and a person in his position would be fully aware of the requirements bestowed upon him, as is every other member of the MOD who hold an FMT, as they will be required to comply with Driver Standing Orders, which he would have had to have read and signed to state that fact.

    You aren't up to scratch on military / civilian law, but I promise you, I am.
     
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  10. Jaykay2343

    Jaykay2343 Royal Marines Commando

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    Is it really punishable by this much? Surely a bollocking and a few bendy stretchies, followed by wets b1tch for a week?
     
  11. AngryArgie

    AngryArgie Member

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    Well if he has broken some law be it military or other then surely he is entitled to due process, but I don’t think he has actually broken a law just made a severe error of judgement which has had large consequences on career.

    The example I have in my head is it’s like a lorry driver being contracted to drive from point A to point B and only being permitted to drive and rest at service stations in said contract but then he diverts using the lorry but pays for the cost of fuel so he’s broken the contract by diverting but that’s not a legal issue only a corporate one and so he’s sacked not arrested like Mr Cooke-Priest here has been
     
  12. AngryArgie

    AngryArgie Member

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    I seriously doubt he would have had to ask his higher ups for permission every time he had to use the car to go somewhere, and it says in the article he wasn’t made aware of the circumstances that allowed him to use the car so I presume that he was given the car and the keys then told to have a jolly good time and not told to ask every time he wanted to use it.

    Those words were not mine if you had read the article and that is why I quoted it.

    I’d agree it’s not an innocent mistake and someone in the position to control one of the largest vessels in our navy should really be more wary and not be doing stupid things like that, but to have his career effectively ruined over it I’m not sure is really appropriate and if the press should even know about it is another question.

    I would also argue that while you undoubtedly know more about military and civilian law than me I would argue the legal team working for the MoD would be a bit more up to scratch than you on such matters and as of yet like the article states he isn’t facing any legal repercussions.

    Unless of course you are an MoD lawyer then I’ll shut up already
     
  13. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    From a purely objective point of view the opinion of the Daily Express in this matter is irrelevant. And as stated before, this is not necessarily even a legal matter. The command of HM ships is at the whim of the Admiralty.

    The decision to relieve the CO of HMS Queen Elizabeth of his command will have been made at the highest level.

    Don't assume that this guy's career has been ruined. It has been known for naval officers to be in command of a nuclear submarine which have an unfortunate encounter with, say, the Isle of Skye and subsequently resume a successful service career.
     
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  14. rkec

    rkec Member

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    Technically not sure there. For theft to have occurred, there needs to be an intention to permanently deprive someone of their property. If he has replaced it, I can't see how they can pursue that.

    I think there is a whole lot more to this story than is being reported.
     
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  15. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    The owner of the fuel was permanently deprived of it because the fuel was consumed and cannot be recovered. The driver might replace the fuel but the theft has still occurred as evidenced by a tracker device.

    I hadn't considered that leased fleet vehicles now have monitoring trackers fitted. I withdraw my previous suggestion that the bloke's shipmates might have dobbed him in.
     
  16. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    JSP800 is pretty specific on what service vehicles can and cannot be used for & all service drivers have to sign driver standing orders.

    A vehicle request form is required every time a journey is made and it must be the direct route from place of duty to place of duty, unless for example you are pre-positioning a vehicle for onward travel the following day. You cannot even nip into the local Tesco to grab scran unless it's on the direct route.

    I have no idea about the allegations in this instance but since all vehicles are fitted with trackers which monitor location, speed, acceleration, severe braking, over-revving the engine and excessive speed when cornering etc., it is unwise in the extreme to think you will not get sussed by your MTO, whatever the rank.

    Gone are the days when you can take liberties. There's no such thing as a car that belongs to the post you hold, they're all pool vehicles ..unless you want to pay the tax on a personal company vehicle.
     
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  17. dodgyknees

    dodgyknees Active Member

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    The legalities surrounding this case are totally irrelevant. He knew the rules and chose to break them. As a CO he is ultimately responsible for all discipline on board a capital vessel. How can he discipline sailors and marines if he does not act to the highest standards himself?

    His position is untenable and as such had to go. Harsh but fair.
     
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  18. rkec

    rkec Member

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    But did he knows the rules? If he is right in that other captains do it, and it was allowed then you have to have some sympathy. An employer can't turn a blind eye to a practice to 99% of instances and then enforce rules against one person. That would go down as victimisation in an employment tribunal. Imagine if this guy was black and all the white guys got away with it?

    If on the other hand they were all warned that that specific blind eye had ceased to be turned anymore and he ignored it then yes I guess he deserves it. It really is too hard to tell with the information out there. Personally I just don't think there is enough to judge yet.

    Anyway, how do you buy shares in Car Hire centre's outside of RAF bases? :D
     
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  19. Illustrious

    Illustrious Royal Marines Commando - Moderator

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    He would have been aware of the rules as you are required to read and sign driving standing orders before being issued am FMT which you need to sign vehicle's out.
     
  20. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    Back in the mists of time (1984) Captain (later Rear Admiral) Colin Cooke-Priest was our Commanding Officer on HMS Boxer, a cracking chap. Presumably related (Dad?) to Nick.

    In the days when RN Chefs were called Cooks, an unfortunate bosun's mate received an anonymous phonecall from the Stokers Mess (allegedly) to make a pipe (ship tannoy broadcast) and blithely piped: "Cook Priest, Main Galley". I swear there was a queue of officers waiting in line to give unfortunate guy an ear-bending :)
     
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