Racist abuse left me in fear, says Marine who deserted

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The Independent Online
A Royal Marine deserted after "systematic" racial abuse including being ordered to carry a spear and having urine thrown on his bed, the High Court was told yesterday.

The Ministry of Defence tried to stop the action for pounds 750,000 compensation by claiming the allegations of racial bullying were too late to be heard .

Mark Parchment, 29, pictured right, says that throughout his training he was called "nigger" and "black bastard" by NCOs. He claims he was finally forced to flee his unit in Arbroath after being subjected to a violent assault and mock crucifixion which left him in fear of his life. Mr Parchment, who now lives in London, remained "on the run for five years until he was arrested.

The MoD denied that there had been any racial abuse and said Mr Parchment could not sue them anyway because he had left it too long to mount his claim which was now "time barred".

John Mackenzie, for the former marine, told the High Court in London that he did not realise he had suffered serious psychiatric injury because of his treatment until examined by a doctor in May 1996 and he was therefore entitled to launch his action.

The hearing resumes today.