Awol South Shields soldier faces court martial

NATHAN SHILLAW ... the young soldier is accused of going absent without leave for two months.
NATHAN SHILLAW ... the young soldier is accused of going absent without leave for two months.
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A TEENAGE soldier from South Tyneside faces a court martial after being absent without leave from the Army for more than two months.

Nathan Shillaw, 18, has been detained in Army custody until the court martial date is set, after appearing before a military court in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Shillaw, of River Drive, South Shields, has been absent without leave from the 3rd Battalion The Rifles, based in Edinburgh, since October 24.

He was arrested by police before appearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court this week, where he admitted the offence.

Magistrates were asked to decide whether Shillaw had to be remanded in custody until the Army arrived to pick him up.

Magistrates remanded him in custody while representatives of his battalion travelled over from Scotland to transport him back to base.

Ian Haq, defending Shillaw at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, said he faced being discharged from the Army.

Mr Haq said: “I have a photocopy of a sicknote from his GP, which deems him not fit to work due to depression.

“He attempted to take his own life last year.

“Once he is back in base in Edinburgh, he will be discharged from the Army.

“He is not someone the Army will be retaining.”

Shillaw was one of six South Tynesiders who swore an oath of allegiance to serve Queen and country at a ceremony at the Royal British Legion in April 2012, ahead of starting training to become an infantry soldier at Catterick.

A British Army spokeswoman confirmed that Shillaw had been remanded in army custody, pending a date for the court martial hearing being finalised.

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris