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Kidnapper drove out of base with soldiers
A SOLDIER who attacked and kidnapped two young recruits at Britain’s largest Army garrison drove out of the base with them tied up in the boot and back seat of his car.
Catterick village residents have raised concerns over the security breach at Marne Barracks, questioning how the Afghanistan veteran managed to pass an armed soldier at the guardhouse before driving for more than a mile to the village green.
The 23-year-old, who served with 1st Battalion Mercian Regiment in Helmand province in 2010 and was preparing to be deployed there again, had allegedly tied up the young soldiers in a barracks building by the A1 before kicking and punching them on Saturday, August 18.
It has been said the noncommissioned officer (NCO) then concealed his captives from hundreds of soldiers at the camp.
After the car left the base at about 9am the next day, it stopped near Booth Memorial Institute hall, in the village, where the recruit in the back of the car escaped and raised the alarm.
The other recruit also escaped from the boot, before driving off in the vehicle.
Military Police launched a hunt for the NCO and asked for assistance from North Yorkshire Police half an hour later.
Some of the NCO’s combat gear was found in the Pallett Hill area of the village, before he was found by police officers partially-clothed, sitting on the steps of the memorial hall.
One resident, whose house overlooks the hall, said: “Quite a few people saw him there with camouflage paint on his face and without his socks or boots, but no one approached.
He seemed tired and subdued and when the police and Military Police arrived, he sat quietly; there was no struggle or anything.”
Catterick Bridge councillor Carl Les said he had been impressed by security during his visits to the barracks.
He said: “I would certainly hope that this is a one-off.”
The Ministry of Defence said the Military Police’s investigation was ongoing, making it inappropriate to confirm speculation in the village or to issue a statement to residents.
A spokeswoman said: “All those who are found to fall short of the Army’s high standards or who are found to have committed an offence under the Armed Forces Act are dealt with administratively, up to and including discharge, or through the discipline process, as appropriate.”