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Navy Commander Pleads Guilty to Charges

18 August 2011

Navy Commander Pleads Guilty to Charges

Commander John Butcher was today found guilty of charges under the Armed Forces Discipline Act relating to behaviour ashore at an official function at the New Zealand High Commission in Port Vila, Vanuatu on 22 July 2011.

Commander Butcher pleaded guilty at a summary trial to charges of drunkenness, bringing the Service into discredit and using inappropriate language. He was fined $2000 and officially reprimanded.

Commander Butcher was further directed to seek alcohol counselling and to apologise in writing to the New Zealand High Commissioner in Vanuatu.

Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr said the incident was disappointing for the Navy and the New Zealand Defence Force.

“By taking swift action on this incident the Navy has sent a strong message to all ranks that alcohol abuse is not acceptable and instances of it will be quickly and appropriately dealt with.”

“Commander Butcher is a highly trained and experienced officer who still has much to offer the Navy and New Zealand. While he will not be returning to command HMNZS TE MANA, I am confident he will learn his lesson from this incident and will now focus on continuing his career in the Navy.”


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