Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Wife's anger over soldier arrest

Claire Glenton says her husband is standing up for his beliefs

The wife of a soldier charged after refusing to return to Afghanistan has said she is outraged by his arrest for taking part in an anti-war protest.

L/Cpl Joe Glenton, 27, from York, has been charged with disobeying a lawful order after joining an anti-war demonstration in London last month.

He has already appeared before a court accused of being absent without leave (Awol) in 2007.

His wife Claire said her husband's actions were brave.

At the march in Trafalgar Square, L/Cpl Glenton addressed more than 5,000 protesters and said the sights he witnessed during his time in Afghanistan forced him to question the morality of his role.

He was arrested and appeared in court in Aldershot, Hampshire, on Tuesday and is being held in custody.

Mother's support

The charges carry a sentence of up to 10 years in jail.

Mrs Glenton, who met her husband in Australia while he was absent without leave, said: "I'm particularly outraged by this arrest.

"Apparently it's acceptable for an officer to speak out for the war, but when a soldier speaks out against the war he's locked up for it and that's just double standards.

"But Joe is a very brave man and he understood the consequences of his actions, so we're dealing with it. "

His mother Sue Glenton has also spoken out in support of her son.

"You've got government ministers, army commanders and MPs speaking every day in support of the war.

"What's so scary about a Lance Corporal having his say? My son is only speaking out for what he thinks is right."

Protest planned

Having joined the Army in 2004, L/Cpl Glenton, who is based at Abingdon in Oxfordshire, allegedly went Awol in 2007 before handing himself in after two years and six days.

He appeared before a courts martial in August where his case was adjourned until November.

The Stop the War Coalition is holding a protest outside the Ministry of Defence in London on Thursday in support of the soldier and his right to freedom of speech.

In a statement the MoD confirmed that disciplinary action against L/Cpl Glenton "is currently in progress".

It continued: "As this matter is subject to court martial proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

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