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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 January 2006, 19:04 GMT
Captain 'was dressing gown bully'
Captain Robert Tarrant
Captain Robert Tarrant has denied the five bullying charges
A submarine captain would angrily berate his crew while in his dressing gown after waking up in a bad mood, a Navy officer has told a court martial.

Captain Robert Tarrant, 44, denies five charges of ill-treatment by use of repeated, unjustified verbal abuse.

The charges relate to his time on the Devonport-based submarine HMS Talent between February 1998 and July 1999.

The court martial at Portsmouth Naval Base heard of his outbursts against Lieutenant Commander Ryan Ramsey.

Lt Cmdr Ramsey, who joined the Navy in 1988, said his commanding officer would begin his tirades while still in his dressing gown.

He said: "If he woke up in a bad mood he would come up and start shouting at me about things, small minor things that he might find exception with, and then he would carry on down the line before going to the head (bathroom) and back to his cabin."

'Aggressive and unreasonable'

Lt Cmdr Ramsey said he would be left in tears by Capt Tarrant's outbursts and would regularly vomit before going on shift.

He said the captain became increasingly aggressive while at sea and would shout at him in front of other crew members for minor errors.

On one occasion, he described how he was told off for carrying out a manoeuvre to avoid a fishing vessel which caused the submarine to fall slightly behind schedule.

Lt Cmdr Ramsey said: "He started raising his voice to me, asked me what I was doing, telling me I should be doing a better job, in front of my team.

"This carried on for some considerable period of time, my perception at the time was that he was aggressive and unreasonable.

"He was angry at what I had done but at the time I couldn't see I had done anything outside what I'd been taught."

Road accidents

Neil Maitland, the chief petty officer coxswain, told the court martial he "still could not sleep on Sunday nights", six years after being under the command of Capt Tarrant.

Chief Maitland also said he had almost been involved in two road accidents on Monday mornings due to worrying.

Chief Maitland said Capt Tarrant would shout at either him or other members of the crew, especially Lt Cmdr Ramsey, daily.

The court martial was then closed to the public while confidential evidence was heard.

The hearing was later adjourned until Wednesday.

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