South Tyneside soldier dismissed from army over sex offence

The TA Centre in Northfield Gardens, South Shields
The TA Centre in Northfield Gardens, South Shields

A soldier serving at a South Tyneside recruitment barracks has been booted out of the army for committing a sex assault.

Stephen Pitt has been dismissed from service following a court martial at the Catterick Garrison base in North Yorkshire.

Pitt, who was based at the Northfield Gardens Territorial Army centre in South Shields, was found guilty at the court martial, which took place on June 29.

On July 19 he had his ranking reduced from colour sergeant to gunner and was recommended to be discharged from the Army.

An Army spokesman confirmed Pitt, who was working at the South Shields base at the time of the offence, had now been given his marching orders.

In a statement, the spokesman added: “We can confirm that ex-Gunner Stephen Pitt was found guilty of sexual assault on 29 June 2018 at Catterick Court Martial Centre.

“He was later sentenced to be reduced to the ranks and dismissed from Her Majesty’s Service.”

The Army also confirmed Pitt worked at HMS Calliope, a Royal Navy reserve unit at Gateshead, where he was involved in recruitment,

The South Shields TA centre is home to 205 Battery (3rd Durham Volunteer Artillery) Battery, 101 Royal Artillery, which recruits locally.

It is believed to provide trained personnel who support British military operations at home and abroad, working alongside regular forces.

Recent deployment has been in in Iraq, Cyprus and the former Republic of Yugoslavia.

The 3rd Durham Volunteer Artillery was formed in South Shields in 1860.