Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The good, the bad...

...and the ugly:

A Dutch court ordered two Canadian soldiers jailed Tuesday for assaulting a homosexual man in Amsterdam, but cleared them of charges of targeting the victim because of his sexual orientation.

The Amsterdam District Court sentenced Eric Wright to five months and Ryan Dowie to 45 days for their roles in the May attack, which was highly publicized in the Dutch news media because it was perceived to be part of an increase of "gay bashing" hate crimes.

The court said prosecutors proved the men, both aged 22, "openly and in unison used violence against the victim and his boyfriend," including stomping on the victim's face so that he suffered a skull fracture and broken nose.

However "the court sees no reason to doubt the declaration of the suspects that they didn't even know the victim and his friends were homosexual until they were informed of this by the police after the incident."

The men said they had called the 28-year-old victim "gay" and "a fag" because he wore military-style "dog tag" identification but wasn't a soldier.

The Canadians were stationed in the Netherlands ahead of a deployment to the country's NATO force in Afghanistan.

You want soldiers to fight - it's really what you pay them to do. But not all of them understand that they're only supposed to fight when they're told to. Normally, the military justice system or their chain of command figures out how to correct that behaviour before an incident like this occurs. But not always.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

dutch jail will be a treat compared to the RSM's greeting for these lads when they get out.

They can worry about that while they while away the time.

4:55 p.m., October 17, 2007  

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