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A British Army soldier racially abused his Gurkha colleague and threatened to ‘knock him out’ after another officer complained not enough kippers were available for breakfast, a court martial heard.
Corporal Kevin Gibson is accused of threatening fellow cook Corporal Prakash Rai after a diner raised concerns there were not enough smoked fish to eat.
The dispute – prompted by an angry pescatarian saying his dietary requirements weren’t being catered for – led to Cpl Gibson calling his fellow soldier a ‘f****** Nepalese c***’, Bulford Military Court heard.
As the five minute row in the mess continued, he then said he would ‘knock him out,’ the hearing was told.
The court martial heard that the incident took place in July 2019 when both men had been posted to the Falkland Islands.
Cpl Gibson was on his day off from the kitchen when he went to tell kitchen worker Cpl Rai about a customer complaint of the lack of kippers served at breakfast, the hearing was told.
Corporal Prakash Rai is the alleged victim in the row, which was sparked by a lack of kippers
Corporal Kevin Gibson (pictured) is accused of threatening fellow cook Corporal Prakash Rai
However, he claims Cpl Rai – who at the time was a lower rank than him – ignored him and insisted he get out of the kitchen which led to an altercation.
And he denied racially abusing the Gurkha, insisting that he had asked Cpl Rai to stop speaking in Nepalese to another soldier as it was disrespectful.
Cpl Gibson told the court martial he went to speak to Cpl Rai as it was his ‘duty’ to alert him to a customer complaint.
He said: “There was a guy (in the canteen) who was very angry and he was knocking stuff about. He asked ‘are you a chef?’ and he said he had a complaint.
“He said the chefs had f***** him off because he has got dietary requirements. He was a pescatarian and said we did not do enough kippers.
“Even though I was not working it was my duty to make sure that I spoke to whoever is in charge to find an alternative (food option) for him.”
Corporal Kevin Gibson has a chuckle and smile outside the court martial earlier today
Cpl Gibson, of the Royal Logistics Corps, told the court that when he went to speak to Cpl Rai he was ignored.
He said: “I went to speak to whoever was in charge so I went over to the hot plate area it was very busy. (Cpl) Rai was writing on the board so I stood there.
“He pretended like he did not hear me and I stood there for a while and I made a gesture to him. He glimpsed at me but he ignored me.
“He finished the board, looked at me and then walked inside the kitchen and I said ‘Mate, there is a complaint.’
“The reason why I brought it up is we had been threatened the week before that if there were any problems with dietary requirements then we would lose our day off so all I was doing was trying to help.”
Once the pair were in the kitchen, Cpl Gibson said Cpl Rai became ‘insistent’ that he leave.
He said: “He turned around and said ‘you are not on f****** shift get out the kitchen’ and pushed me out the way.
“He was just trying to get me out the kitchen by pushing and leaning into me.
“I then said to him ‘If you touch me again, I will knock you out.’”
During the roughly 5-minute-long altercation between the two soldiers, another cook, Senior Aircraftman Bikran Lawati, was walking in and out of the kitchen area.
Cpl Gibson told the court that Cpl Rai spoke to SAC Lawati in Nepalese.
He said: “I said to (Cpl Rai) have some respect and speak in English so I can understand what you guys are saying.”
SAC Lawati told the court he had seen the two men arguing.
“(Cpl Gibson) was very angry at the time and he was using bad words,” he said. “He was shouting ‘f*** you, f****** Nepalese c***,’ to Rai.”
Corporal Rai told the court he was ‘100 percent positive’ that Cpl Gibson had said he would knock him out and swore at him.
But another witness, Private Joshua Farmer, said that it was Cpl Rai who was swearing at Cpl Gibson.
Richard Paton-Phillip, defending, put to Cpl Rai that he had confused ‘Nepalese c***’ with Cpl Gibson asking him not to speak in Nepalese, which Cpl Rai denied.
Cpl Gibson said he was ‘surprised’ by Cpl Rai’s aggressiveness.
He said: “None of the Nepalese guys behave like that so it caught me by surprise when he was aggressive with me and kept pushing me backwards.”
Cpl Gibson faces one charge of racially aggravated causing fear or provocation of violence. The trial continues.
Source: Daily Mail