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RCAF MP fined for sleeping on job while guarding PM's aircraft

Sythen

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http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives/2012/03/20120324-182156.html

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TORONTO -- An RCAF master corporal has been fined $500 for falling asleep while guarding the aircraft of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other government members during a trip to Morocco.

Master Cpl. C.J.S. Agnew was found guilty by a standing court martial on March 5 at CFB North Bay, according to documents from his court martial.

Chief Military Judge Cmdr. Peter Lamont said Agnew pleaded guilty to a charge of neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline and can pay his fine in $100 installments.

One good thing I see is that Sun News does actually read comments, because shortly after posting mine they corrected the errors in the title and story.

On another note, only a $500 fine? When we were overseas, we were told that if we were caught sleeping at our post it was an automatic $3000 fine and you would be sent home immediately. I am not complaining that our potential punishment was too severe, but that his seems so light. Unless there are major mitigating factors, anyone else think he got off really easy?

- mod edit to clarify it was a military policeman who was charged, convicted -
 
A

aesop081

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Some of the comments are just as stupid as those on the CBC, with the exception that the people commenting on the Sun story, should know better ( based on the stuff in their comments, they know enough to be dangerous).

::)

Agreed; but they are "Protected". This gets back to privacy vs. confidentiality... and we do have privacy laws in Canada. In fact, another crime may have been commited by the media... but I doubt anyone is going to investigate. Regardless, there remains one key issue - a serviceman, who clearly made a mistake and committed a chargable offence, was rightfully punished, is going to suffer beyond the scope of that punishment due to inappropriate media coverage.

CM results are public. As they should be. The rest of this guy's posts are crap too. Another barrack room lawyer who "retired" after 3 years i'm sure.

So those of the military that hated the ole CO's parade, and fought for this new system? What do you think now! This should have been a 129 conduct unbecoming, by a Maj. same fine and not in the public eye. Oh yeah, did you all forget, now this is considered a criminal code conviction! Another way of forcing member to stay in the military!

"129" is not "conduct unbecoming"............Too many american movies for this person. No, it is not a criminal code violation. Thats something under 130.

 

George Wallace

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Sythen said:
http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives/2012/03/20120324-182156.html

A quick search didn't show anyone else had posted this:

One good thing I see is that Sun News does actually read comments, because shortly after posting mine they corrected the errors in the title and story.

...... When we were overseas, we were told that if we were caught sleeping at our post it was an automatic $3000 fine and you would be sent home immediately. I am not complaining that our potential punishment was too severe, but that his seems so light. Unless there are major mitigating factors, anyone else think he got off really easy?

Several things:  Where were you overseas?  What was the "Threat Level" there?  Did you witness anyone being charged $3000 or was that just a 'threat' to 'throw the fear of Jesus into you'?  You do realize that a charge like this is set on a formula that works off your IPC level?......A Pte would not be charged the same as a Col for the same offence.....ie. (extreme and outrageous example) 100% of their pay compared to 2% of their pay.
 

Sythen

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George Wallace said:
Several things:  Where were you overseas?  What was the "Threat Level" there?  Did you witness anyone being charged $3000 or was that just a 'threat' to 'throw the fear of Jesus into you'?  You do realize that a charge like this is set on a formula that works off your IPC level?......A Pte would not be charged the same as a Col for the same offence.....ie. (extreme and outrageous example) 100% of their pay compared to 2% of their pay.

I was in Afghanistan, and I don't know the exact threat level but considering we were at a COP with firefights at least 3-5 times a week I would say it was pretty high. Regardless of whether the threat level where he was (Morocco) is high or not, there should be one punishment for a crime. Whether you are on a guard tower in a FOB, a turret shift in a LAV, or standing suicide watch on someone in cells in Petawawa, sleeping during your duties is sleeping during your duties.

You're totally right, it could have been just an empty threat because I never had first hand knowledge of anyone receiving that charge. I also never heard of anyone sleeping at their post. If the actual punishment is $500 and what we were told was an empty threat, I believe it is vastly inadequate.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Sythen,

With respect, there cannot be one fine for each type of offense and maintain fairness in the system.  Each presiding officer and court martial judge must consider each situation on its own merits and assign a punishment that is best to serve justice.
 

dangerboy

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To add to what SeaKingTaco said, here is what the Military Justice manual for summary trials says on fines:

Fine. Both superior commanders and COs may impose a fine up to 60% of the offender’s
monthly basic pay.49 Delegated officers may impose a fine up to 25% of monthly basic pay.50 A
fine must be imposed in a stated amount expressed in dollars.

So depending on rank, spec pay and other factors it changes from pers to pers.  I am aware that court martials have different scales of punishment. I am at home so don't that that reference handy, I just used this as an example.   
 

The Bread Guy

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CDN Aviator said:
CM results are public. As they should be. The rest of this guy's posts are crap too. Another barrack room lawyer who "retired" after 3 years i'm sure.
And once that is pointed out, he takes another tack....
I completely understand your observation; I'm questioning if it should be public however... this should, at a minimum, be PROTECTED B... which means not in public circulation. This may actually be a Federal Privacy Policy violation. If it were a criminal trial, I would see it differently; that is an offence against society - so it should be public. Service offences are different... and I think they should remain protected. A good question for the JAG and the Canadian Privacy Commissioner. I'm going to bring it up with the head of the Canadian Privacy association.
Funny that.....

For anyone interested in more details from official sources ....
Edited to correct sentencing statement link - thanks to all who helped!
 

Nfld Sapper

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Correct link to results......

http://www.jmc-cmj.forces.gc.ca/dec/2012/doc/2012cm2003-eng.pdf
 

Sythen

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SeaKingTacco said:
Sythen,

With respect, there cannot be one fine for each type of offense and maintain fairness in the system.  Each presiding officer and court martial judge must consider each situation on its own merits and assign a punishment that is best to serve justice.

I fully understand that there can be mitigating circumstances (I won't claim to know anything about this particular instance aside from what is written in this article) which can affect the specific amount given, but there should be a baseline. In dangerboy's post, the rule says the amount must be stated in dollars. Is this really the best policy? I am not the most enlightened person in the world, so maybe someone can show a line of thought that I am missing, but if for instance (and I am 100% pulling numbers out of thin air here) if you are caught sleeping while on guard duty the standard charge would be 25% of your monthly pay. That would be if there was no mitigating circumstances, but if during the trial its learned that the individual was very sick, maybe going through some personal issues, etc then the judge could use some common sense and amend it. By the same token, if this individual was a repeat offender and this was the third time caught in a similar situation, the judge could increase it.

As I said, I just think that $500 for this offense (again with the caveat that I do not know the specifics of the trial and there very well may be factors I don't know) is far too little.
 

garb811

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Read the results at the link NFLD Sapper posted.  It gives an excellent summary as to how punishments are determined generally and how the sentence was arrived at specifically in this case.
 

medicineman

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On a lighter note, do you think this guy will ever get to go on another PMO jaunt?

MM
 

GAP

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circumstances of the offender; he enrolled in the Canadian
Forces in 1985 and has served continuously since that time, rising to his present rank
and position of master corporal.

On a lighter note, do you think this guy will ever get to go on another PMO jaunt?

er....don't think so.... ;D
 

garb811

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Official answer:  He's done the crime, paid the fine and has a specialist qual that is in high demand.  Just like anyone else convicted of a service offence, life goes on.

Unofficial answer:  Closest he's going to get to that aircraft is when he's driving across the ramp in Trenton doing gate checks.
 

medicineman

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garb811 said:
Unofficial answer:  Closest he's going to get to that aircraft is when he's driving across the ramp in Trenton doing gate checks.

...if he's lucky,  :nod:

MM
 

Pusser

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CDN Aviator said:
CM results are public. As they should be. The rest of this guy's posts are crap too. Another barrack room lawyer who "retired" after 3 years i'm sure.

"129" is not "conduct unbecoming"............Too many american movies for this person. No, it is not a criminal code violation. Thats something under 130.

Heartily agree on CM results being public.  In fact the CMs themselves are a public event (anybody can attend), as well they should be.  The right to a public trial is fundamental and actually stems from the Magna Carta.  Public trials are in the defendant's favour and are designed to prevent "Star Chamber" (in)justice.

Unless this loophole has been closed since I last dealt with it, even a conviction under Section 130 does not result in a criminal record.  It simply means that the offender has been found guilty under the NDA (not part of the Criminal Code) of something that is considered an offence under the Criminal Code.  In other words, he/she has been found guilty under the part of the NDA that says everything in the Criminal Code is a service offence as well (saves on the printing costs of having to repeat everything in the CC into the NDA).  I ran into this with a subordinate once who had previously been found guilty under Section 130 and was now seeking a pardon.  The report back from the RCMP said he didn't need a pardon, because he had no Criminal Record.  In other words, no Criminal Code conviction because he'd been charged and found guilty under the NDA vice the CC.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Now having said that, and speaking from personal experience, any conviction under the NDA means you can't get a pardon for any criminal charges you may have been convicted of for a period of 5 years from the NDA conviction.
In my case I would have been better to have punched someone out downtown that to have been late for work......
 

blacktriangle

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
Now having said that, and speaking from personal experience, any conviction under the NDA means you can't get a pardon for any criminal charges you may have been convicted of for a period of 5 years from the NDA conviction.
In my case I would have been better to have punched someone out downtown that to have been late for work......

You mean you couldn't do both? I thought that's what they called a "hybrid offence"! I knew I should have studied more in school!
 

armyvern

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CDN Aviator said:
...
CM results are public. As they should be. The rest of this guy's posts are crap too. Another barrack room lawyer who "retired" after 3 years i'm sure.

"129" is not "conduct unbecoming"............Too many american movies for this person. No, it is not a criminal code violation. Thats something under 130.

Bang on.

And, as to the newspaper comment regarding, "it should have been a 129 and a COs parade" (I'm guessing he means lad should have been charged with 129 and had a Summary Trial vice a CM), Court Martial can and do happen for "mere 129s" - why do people think they can't be CM'd on 129s??  ;).
 
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