Soldier claims he tried to kill himself after Army bullying over stutter

Joseph McCabe said the Army ignored his complaints about his treatment

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The Independent Online

A former soldier has criticised the Army for ignoring his claims of bullying – which led to him attempting to commit suicide several times.

Joseph McCabe, who has a stutter, said that rather than seeking to stop the alleged bullying, some non-commissioned officers even joined in with the victimisation, which focused on his speech impediment.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the former private also said he had been stabbed by a fellow soldier.

Mr McCabe is now taking action against the Minister of Defence, which did not comment on the case but said it had a “zero-tolerance” policy on bullying.

Speaking publicly for the first time, he said the bullying began soon after he was given his first posting to Germany in 2007 and that soldier would often mimic his voice.

"I received death threats,” he told Today.

"I got threatened with a knife to my throat while I was still deployed out in Iraq. I was told 'you have got until the end of the tour to kill yourself'.

"I put in a number of transfer requests, I tried everything I could to get away from the regiment. But they were denied.

"I still have nightmares, I still have flashbacks. If I could I would just lock myself up in box and hide away. But I have forced myself to take up a new career and move on with my life."

Mr McCabe said some of the death threats were in written form, but when he handed them to an NCO they were dismissed and joked about.

After a colleague stabbed him, Mr McCabe said he tried to kill himself a number of times.

The Ministry of Defence said it could not comment on individual cases, but that all allegations would be investigated and appropriate action taken.