HMS Illustrious sailor’s jaw ‘left hanging off’ after vicious attack by shipmates

HMS Illustrious
HMS Illustrious

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  • Sailors from former Portsmouth aircraft carrier appear in court charged with GBH
  • Duo deny attacking two of their shipmates during shore leave on the Italian island of Sicily

A SAILOR from Portsmouth was so savagely beaten his ‘jaw was hanging off’, a court martial has heard.

Petty Officer Christopher Jordan was on a night out in the Sicilian capital of Palermo with friend, Engineering Technician David Pape, when they were attacked – allegedly by two of their fellow shipmates.

Such was the ferocity of the attack the next thing he remembers was being in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

Prosecutor Stephen Parish

Former Able Seaman Mark Pearse, 29, and Engineering Technician Aarron Evans, 28, both appeared at Portsmouth Naval Base court martial centre yesterday accused of the assault, which left PO Jordan with a broken jaw and chipped teeth.

They both deny charges of grievous bodily harm, assault and battery and perverting the course of justice.

The military court heard how PO Jordan and ET Pape had come to the aid of a Royal Marine who was allegedly being harassed by Pearse and Evans, in the early hours of August 23, 2013, while on shore leave from the former HMS Illustrious.

They attempted to calm the situation when Pearse and Evans launched an ‘unprovoked attack’ on them, beating them to the ground with a barrage of kicks and punches.

‘He (PO Jordan) was savagely and viciously attacked,’ said prosecutor Stephen Parish.

‘Such was the ferocity of the attack the next thing he remembers was being in the ambulance on the way to hospital.’

The board heard evidence from ET Pape who said his friend’s jaw had been ‘left hanging off’ by the attack.

‘His head was covered in blood and he couldn’t stay up on his own,’ added the sailor.

Days after the assault, a shipwide poster appeal was launched on Illustrious appealing for information.

The court heard how Evans – who had only joined the ship two weeks earlier – confessed to Able Seaman Aaron Camwell that he and Pearse were ‘responsible for putting that lad in the hospital’ – something the defence denies ever happened.

After AB Camwell reported this he was confronted by the duo on a number of occasions who threatened him.

AB Camwell told the board how Pearse had even threatened his family – a comment which concerned him so much that he gave notice wanting to leave the navy altogether. ‘No job is worth having your family threatened,’ he told the court.