Soldier, 22, stripped and set on fire in of ritual is suing the MoD

  • Post author:
  • Post category:NFL Updates

A young soldier who says he was left traumatised by a bizarre army initiation ritual in which he was stripped, wrapped in toilet paper and set on fire is suing the MoD for more than £200,000.

Jake Tutt, 22, claims a ‘hazing’ ritual he underwent at the hands of colleagues while with the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment in Germany left him mentally scarred and ended his career.

Stripped naked, he was bound up in toilet paper and sniper tape and set on fire, while being forced to consume food and drink laced with bodily fluids, he says.

Suing, Mr Tutt says the bullying – as well as hearing damage he says was caused by exposure to loud gunfire and explosions during training – destroyed his mental health and forced him out of the Army.

He is now fighting the Ministry of Defence at the High Court, claiming over £200,000 for the psychiatric trauma of the alleged bullying and harassment and the ongoing impact on his hearing.

The MoD initially admitted breaching its duty to Mr Tutt, but after a hearing in London last week, has now withdrawn the admission and is set to fight the compensation claim.

In documents filed at the High Court, Mr Tutt’s lawyers say he was subjected to ‘a course of conduct which amounted to bullying and harassment’ while at Paderborn.

Central to the case is the humiliating ‘initiation ceremony’ which he says he underwent in early 2019, says his barrister, Sabrina Hartshorn, in his particulars of claim.

‘He was forced to strip naked, was wrapped in toilet paper and sniper tape and set alight, whilst having to consume food and drink mixed with semen and urine,’ she says.

The ordeal followed a series of other incidents, said the barrister, including being forced to jump into bins to locate ‘random items’ for other privates, while being shot at with a BB gun.

He had also been headbutted by a corporal during a boozy Christmas party in 2018 and verbally abused by fellow privates, who forced him to do press ups and stress positions while being shouted at.

Previously, while in the UK, Mr Tutt claims his hearing was damaged when he lost his ear protectors while taking part in a five-day training exercise, involving simulated attacks, gunfire and grenades, at Harrogate.

When he told his superiors he had lost his ear equipment, he was told to get on with it and ended up completing the exercise unprotected, she says.

Mr Tutt says he had suffered with ringing in his ears and dizziness, but when he told a corporal after the exercise, he was told to ‘stop being a pussy.’

His hearing problems however continued and he was eventually downgraded medically, at which point he was subjected to taunts by colleagues, who told him he was faking his injury, calling him a ‘pussy.’

Mr Tutt claims a ‘hazing’ ritual he underwent at the hands of colleagues while with the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment in Germany (general view) left him mentally scarred and ended his career

In May 2019, he was diagnosed with tinnitus, with the constant ringing in his ears causing mental health issues, which were made worse by the bullying and PhenQ Reviews harassment.

He was eventually medically discharged in March 2021.

The barrister said Mr Tutt, of Eastleigh, Hants, had been left with ‘non-organic hearing loss and tinnitus’ and a ‘moderate depressive episode.’

Since his discharge he has improved and been able to work, but has continued to struggle with his mental health and hearing.

Mr Tutt claims the MoD breached its duty to protect him from harm while at work and to protect him from bullying.

‘The course of conduct carried out by the fellow soldiers of the defendant on the claimant would have made a psychiatric injury reasonably foreseeable.

‘The negligence of the defendant, its servants or agents, caused the claimant to be exposed to excessive and harmful levels of noise and a foreseeable risk of injury which includes psychiatric injury,’ says his barrister.

‘The claimant can hold a conversation on a one to one basis with the person with whom he is conversing but in the presence of background noise, he has significant problems with the clarity of conversation and asks people to repeat themselves.

‘He struggles to hear the television without a significant increase in volume. He also suffers from severe tinnitus which he describes as a high pitch, intrusive, whistling sound that is always present but varies in intrusiveness throughout the day.

‘It is worse when it is quiet and it is troublesome at night. On occasion the severity of the tinnitus can make him feel suicidal. The claimant also experiences a constant pain all day every day in both ears which has an occasional sharp stabbing element during the day,’ she adds.

During a hearing last week, Judge Richard Pearce was told that, before Mr Tutt had even lodged his claim, a claims handler for the MoD had said it was ‘in the position to admit breach of duty,’ subject to him proving injury.

However, the MoD then applied for permission to ‘resile’ from its admission of liability and to file a full defence to the claim.

Lawyers claim ‘inconsistencies’ in Mr Tutt’s account shown in the evidence from medics and military police, as well as in other service documents, should allow it to defend the case.

Granting the application, the judge said there would be ‘obvious and real prejudice’ to the MoD if it was not allowed to defend the claim against it.

‘I think I can say no more than that both the claim and what I anticipate will be the defence to the claim are reasonably arguable,’ he said in his judgment.

‘I find I should, in the interests of the administration of justice, give the defendant the opportunity to defend this case on issues of liability, causation and quantum.’

The MoD was given time to file a full defence to the claim, ahead of a trial at a later date.

ChristmasKate MiddletonLondonGermany