Two reluctant conscripts charged with disobeying Regiment
Anti-draft campaigner Lamont Marshall has been charged in court with two counts of disobeying Regiment orders. Mr Marshall, 27, from Devonshire, was arrested outside his job at the Corporation of Hamilton on the afternoon of January 24 by regimental police. He was released later that day. He appeared at Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with disobeying an order from the Commanding Officer of the Regiment to pay a $500 fine issued under the Defence Act. He was further charged with disobeying an order to report to the Regiment’s Warwick Camp headquarters by 12 noon on January 12. Mr Marshall pleaded not guilty to both charges. Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner adjourned the case because he questioned whether he had the power to deal with it, and prosecutor Susan Mulligan did not have a copy of the Defence Act to help resolve the issue. “I’ve never seen a person prosecuted in this court for failing to pay a fine to the Commanding Officer, which seems to be an internal matter, although I am not saying that I have not got jurisdiction (to deal with it),” explained Mr Warner. He granted Mr Marshall $1,000 bail and ordered him to return to court on February 7. The defendant is a top runner and Olympic hopeful who works as a refuse collector. He is currently involved in civil legal proceedings against the Bermuda Regiment. He has also applied to the Defence Exemption Tribunal to be deemed a conscientious objector, though a decision on that has not yet been taken by the board. His father, Bermudians Against the Draft founder Larry Marshall Sr appeared in Magistrates’ Court last week for using threatening behaviour against a soldier who came to arrest his son on an earlier occasion at his home in Devonshire. Mr Marshall Sr, 56, was given an absolute discharge. Meanwhile, another reluctant conscript was also charged in Magistrates’ Court today. Romone Smith, 21, of Hamilton Parish, admitted disobeying an order to complete five extra days of duty and failing to attend military training on 13 occasions between October 24 2011 and January 7 2012. He told the court he missed his duties due to being sick and also having to work on the hospital construction project. Mr Warner handed him a three month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, for each of two offences. “What that means is if you commit any further offences within the next 18 months; Regiment offences or other offences, then this prison term may be activated,” he warned Mr Smith.