Soldiers go Awol over 'beasting'

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The Independent Online

Two soldiers who claim they were victims of beastings have gone absent without leave. Privates Andre Treble and Andrew Jones, both 22, have been on the run for 12 days after fleeing Buckley Barracks near Hullavington, Wiltshire, saying the attacks – often referred to as "beastings" – were unbearable.

The Ministry of Defence said yesterday it knew of the allegations by the pair, of 9 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps, adding that any recruit who "falls short of the Army's high standards" would be disciplined. The men absconded four days after Pte Treble claims he was beaten by three soldiers who ransacked his room.

The pair are being sought by military police. An MoD spokesman said: "We can confirm we are aware of an allegation of bullying made by a soldier from 9 Supply Regt RLC at Hullavington. The Royal Military Police (Special Investigation Branch) are investigating the matter." Pte Jones's mother, Anne Evans, said her son had been verbally bullied after standing up for Pte Treble. Pte Treble, who had visited her South Wales home, was first picked on after testing positive for cannabis in February, she explained. The justification given by Pte Treble's attackers was that his drug test had "dishonoured the regiment", Mrs Evans said.