A member of the elite British regiment, The Royal Marines, was yesterday given a life term for finishing off the half-eaten sandwich of an enemy insurgent that had been left behind after his unit stormed a Taliban enclave in Afghanistan in June 2014.
Sgt Dave Campbell, 27, who has spent 10 years in the British armed forces and has twice been decorated for valour in battle, stood head bowed in the dock as the judge in the military court passed sentence and told him.
“While this court has taken into account your exemplary record and the extreme pressure, both yourself and your unit had been under during 10 days under fire and heavy bombardment, there can be no excuse for your behaviour. The Royal Marines have a proud tradition of showing restraint under even the most arduous battle conditions, and while I realise that you’d had no food or water for 3 days I don’t see that as an excuse for finishing off enemy leftovers. You should have waited until you got back to the canteen”
Two of Campbell’s fellow Marines, who can’t be named, were cleared of using a couple of bits of the crust to mop up some gravy on a plate of stew left by one of the enemy combatants and were allowed to return to their units.
Ex-SAS legend and best-selling author, Andy McNab, who had campaigned for leniency to be shown to Sgt Campbell, told reporters outside the court: “I’m very disappointed with the verdict. Under extreme battle conditions any soldier, no matter how well trained, is liable to crack and wolf down some of the enemy scoff. I myself, well remember a lance corporal in my own troop hoovering up a kebab that had been left uneaten by a dead Iraqi special forces soldier after we’d shelled and then stormed their position just outside Baghdad in ’81.”
“I suppose it’s easy to be wise after the event, but if I’d been in Sgt Campbell’s shoes, and with my SAS training to guide my actions, I’d have just lifted the top slice of the sandwich and eaten all the filling before having a shit in a plastic bag and burying it.”