A British soldier has been jailed for stabbing a 10-year-old boy after getting drunk on vodka while serving in Afghanistan.
Grenadier Guardsman Daniel Crook was jailed for 18 months and dismissed from the Army in June for stabbing Ghulam Nabi in the kidney with a bayonet in Helmand Province.
Details of the incident emerged in a court martial, which heard that the soldier stabbed the boy who had been pestering Crook for chocolate.
The incident took place in March last year after Crook had drunk a bottle of vodka sent in a disguised container from a friend in England. The soldier had been so drunk that prior to the patrol he needed treatment from medics, court martial was told.
Prior to the patrol in the Nad e’Ali area of central Helmand, Crook’s rifle had been confiscated but the soldier had armed himself with a bayonet and two hand grenades.
The prosecution said he came across two Afghans riding bikes – one of them was Ghulam, who had been sent out to collect a bottle of yoghurt and who then pestered Crook for chocolate.
In response, the soldier “took hold of the boy’s shoulder and stabbed him in the region of his kidneys with his bayonet”.
Afterwards, Crook caught up with the patrol and admitted what he had done. When questioned by military police he could not explain why he had stabbed the boy.
The boy’s father, Haji Shah Zada, 72, told the Guardian newspaper that he could not understand why his son was attacked and had received no apology from the British forces.
The shopkeeper and farmer said his son was still suffering and has not yet been back to school.
He said British forces were “in Afghanistan to build the country and remove insurgents, not to stab a child”.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “Protecting the Afghan civilian population is one of Isaf and the UK’s top priorities.
“All British troops undergo comprehensive training on the strict rules of engagement that UK forces and Isaf operate under. Any allegations of infringements of these rules of engagement are investigated thoroughly.
“Those who are found to fall short of the Army’s high standards or who are found to have committed an offence are dealt with administratively – up to and including discharge – or through the discipline process, as appropriate.”