A military judge has criticized the prosecution of an RAF serviceman who received an extreme X-rated video on WhatsApp, labeling it as “unfair and unjust.” The 45-second video, which featured a cow and Benny Hill music, was found on the phone of Jack Fellowes, an Air Specialist Technician (AST). Fellowes, 21, based at RAF Brize Norton, pleaded guilty to possessing extreme pornography and received an official warning. Despite the sentence, he will continue to serve in the RAF.
Judge Advocate General (JAG) Darren Reed expressed his disapproval of the military police for bringing the case to his attention, stating that most cases involving extreme pornography are of much greater seriousness. He added that given the nature of the video and how Fellowes came to possess it, the costs of the court proceedings would never be outweighed the verdict.
While JAG Reed acknowledged that the case felt unfair and unjust, he hoped that the service police would heed his recommendations. The court heard that civilian police had seized Fellowes’ iPhone during a separate investigation and discovered the video during a search. It was then that a junior RAF police officer decided to investigate the matter further.
Fellowes’ defense lawyer explained that the video was intended as a comedy piece and was sent to a WhatsApp group for humor, of which Fellowes was a member. He had not requested the video to be sent to him. Following the discovery of the video and the subsequent investigation, Fellowes began to experience mental health issues. He sought advice for depression and was prescribed medication. This incident also caused him to lose friends and his girlfriend, leading him to struggle with compliance during the proceedings.
Judge Advocate General Reed admonished Fellowes, highlighting that his iPhone had been seized the police, and a 45-second video depicting bestiality was found on the WhatsApp messages. He acknowledged the significant impact the investigation had on Fellowes’ mental health and behavior. Additionally, he clarified that this case began as a civil police offense but was later referred to the service prosecuting authority.
In conclusion, the prosecution of RAF serviceman Jack Fellowes for possessing an extreme video has been criticized as unfair and unjust a military judge. The judge questioned the severity of the charges, stating that this case felt unjust given the circumstances. It is hoped that the service police will consider the judge’s recommendations moving forward.
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– Air Specialist Technician (AST): A role within the Royal Air Force responsible for maintaining and repairing aircraft.
– WhatsApp: A popular messaging app that allows users to send messages, make voice and video calls, and share media files.
– RAF Brize Norton: A Royal Air Force base located in Oxfordshire, England, primarily serving as a transport hub.
– Judge Advocate General (JAG): A legal officer in military organizations responsible for overseeing the administration of military justice.