Michael Ransley was in charge of ‘setting and maintaining standards’ (Picture: Solent News & Photo Agency/Getty)
A Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) got so drunk he soiled himself and fell into a toilet, a court martial has heard.
The highly decorated Michael Ransley had been in charge of ‘setting and maintaining standards’ at an Army Oktoberfest bash in October last year.
He had been the most senior soldier present at the event.
But the 40-year-old went on to have an ‘accident’ in the venue’s toilet, which left him, his Oktoberfest-themed lederhosen and his long Bavarian socks, covered in faeces.
Guests were said to be horrified by both ‘the smell and sight’ of the soldier, previously known as the ‘epitome’ of what a commander should be.
RSM Ransley, who had been a soldier for 24 years, was demoted following the embarrassing incident.
He had admitted disorderly behaviour and dropped down the pecking order from Warrant Officer Class 1 to Warrant Officer Class 2.
He tried to plead his innocence at Bulford Military Court in Wiltshire, to overturn his demotion, but his bid for forgiveness was denied.
Mr Ransley at Bulford Military Court Centre (Picture: David Clarke/Solent News)
In court, his lawyer described the ordeal as a ‘spectacular fall from grace.’
RSM Ransley had previously been awarded the operational service medal, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal, plus a medal for service in Iraq.
The Oktoberfest event he attended had been held for both civilians and military personnel on October 16 at the Infantry Battle School in Brecon, Wales.
The hearing was told: ‘There was a lot of alcohol available.
‘He [RSM Ransley] was in the toilet and he stood up as someone else entered and soiled himself. He then fell into it.
‘He stood up as someone else entered and soiled himself. He then fell into it’, the court heard (Picture: David Clarke/Solent News)
‘He was repeatedly told by other senior members that not only pointed out the faeces on his leg, but advised him to leave and sleep off the alcohol.
‘He continued to return to the function despite being physically escorted to a private room. The smell and sight was causing distress to others.’
RSM Ransley did eventually leave and two members of the mess went to track him down.
He was found lying on the floor amid a ‘strong smell of vomit and faeces’. He was lifted into bed and put in the recovery position as a precaution.
The walls of the room and mattress where he slept were both left soiled as a result of the incident.
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Matthew Bolt, defending, asked the military court to not let this lack of judgement ‘blight the rest of his life’.
Mr Bolt said: ‘He received good advice to leave the function and he should have taken it.
‘He was not on duty. It was not an active deterrent role, but rather if all the seniors were there that their presence would have a deterrent effect.
‘The man who stands before you is deeply remorseful, the most evidence of that is his immediate guilty plea in front of his commanding officer.’
Although Judge Advocate Robert Hill accepted RSM Ransley was mortified by the event, he dismissed his appeal.
He said: ‘The crux of the case and the charge of unfitness through drink is on three separate occasions he came back with excrement on his clothing.
‘This was extremely offensive. He was asked to leave the room and to go and clean himself up.
‘It is accepted that he was the person in charge who would have been expected to deal with the behaviour he was indulging in.’
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