Military judge criticizes trial of RAF soldier who sent an X-rated video on WhatsApp
A military judge has slammed the trial of an RAF soldier who sent him an extremist video on WhatsApp as “unfair and unjust”.
The 45-second clip includes a cow and Benny Hill music It was found on the phone of Jack Fellows, an aviation technician (AST).
The 21-year-old, based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, received a formal warning after pleading guilty to possessing… Extreme pornography. He will continue to serve in the RAF.
Judge Advocate General (JAG) Darren Reid criticized the military police for bringing the case to his attention.
“Most cases involving this are much more serious,” he told Bulford Court Martial, Wilts.
He added that given the nature of the video and how AST Fellowes obtained it, the judgment would never outweigh the costs of the court proceedings.
“Unjust and unjust”
“This case seems unjust and unjust,” JAG Reid added. “I hope the service police will take note of these recommendations.”
Civil police seized AST Fellowes’ iPhone as part of a separate investigation and subjected it to a search by an officer and a forensic expert, the court heard.
Robert Gregory, prosecuting, told the court: “There was a short video on WhatsApp, 45 seconds long.
“There’s some music playing up there.”
The court heard that a junior RAF police officer “took it upon himself to conduct an investigation”.
Derek Johachen, mitigating, said the video was created as a “comedy piece” and was sent for humour.
“It came down to the WhatsApp group to which the defendant belonged,” Mr Johachen said.
“The defendant did not request that this video be sent to him. It was sent to a group chat dedicated to humor.
The court heard that after the video was found and the investigation began, AST Fellowes began to suffer from mental health issues.
“Advice for treating depression”
“He ended up seeking some advice for depression and he had medication for it,” Mr Johachen said.
“He says he doesn’t have any friends anymore and that he lost his girlfriend.
“He had been off the rails for a while and was struggling to comply with procedures.”
AST Fellowes received a formal warning from JAG Reed.
“The police have confiscated your iPhone,” he said. “In the WhatsApp messages, there was a short 45-second video clip containing bestiality that was sent to you.
He told the court that this investigation had a “significant impact on me”. [the] “Mental Health and Behavior” by Fellowes.
He continued: “This case began as a civilian police crime.”
“A junior RAF police officer took it upon himself to conduct an investigation.
“Ultimately, this case was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.”