OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 19, 2013) - Colonel Mario Dutil, Chief Military Judge, has sentenced retired Warrant Officer Paul Ravensdale to a suspended six-month prison term, a reduction in rank to Sergeant, and a $2000 fine, in relation to a training incident that occurred on a weapons range in Afghanistan, in February 2010.
The judge also ordered a DNA sample be provided for the national DNA data bank, which is mandatory for a conviction of unlawfully causing bodily harm.
On February 14, 2013, a General Court Martial found Warrant Officer (Ret) Ravensdale guilty of four of six charges:
- Second charge - breach of duty with respect to explosives causing the death of Corporal Joshua Baker;
- Third charge - breach of duty with respect to explosives causing bodily harm to four subordinates;
- Fourth charge - unlawfully causing bodily harm to four subordinates; and
- Fifth charge - negligent performance of duty (by giving the order to fire the C19 without ensuring all persons were either under cover or out of the danger area).
The training incident resulted in the death of Corporal Joshua Baker and in bodily harm to four other soldiers. At the time of the incident, Warrant Officer (Ret) Ravensdale was the platoon second-in-command and was in charge of a range practice involving the Defensive Command Detonated Weapon C19. It was alleged that range safety procedures were violated in relation to the planning and execution of activities on the range that day.
Two other Canadian Armed Forces members have already faced their courts martial in relation to the same incident. Each was sentenced to a reduction in rank and a severe reprimand.