Lieutenant cuddled his recruits

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A PLATOON commander at an Army training regiment kissed and cuddled recruits and encouraged his dog to simulate sex with pillows in their barracks, a court martial was told yesterday.

Lieutenant Nicholas Tod, 25, of the Staffordshire Regiment, was found guilty of four charges of ill-treating recruits, two charges of conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, and one of scandalous conduct unbecoming an officer contrary to the 1955 Army Act. He admitted the charges at the hearing, at a military depot near Stratford-upon-Avon. The verdicts are subject to confirmation.

Lieutenant Tod committed the offences at Lichfield and Catterick in 1991 and 1992. Some recruits went absent without leave, and even barricaded themselves in a barracks, before investigations brought the incidents to light.

Lt-Col Charles Garraway, for the prosecution, said that although it was common practice for Lt Tod to kiss and cuddle the recruits, there was no suggestion that he was homosexual. The court martial continues today.