Submarine captain denies bullying staff

A submarine officer repeatedly bullied his subordinates and made them sick with fear, a court martial has heard.

Captain Robert Tarrant reduced his officers to tears and became so angry that his face became “gorged with blood”, the prosecution at Portsmouth naval base claimed.

Tarrant denied five charges of ill-treating four officers while on board the HMS Talent submarine from February 1998 to July 1999.

The officers claimed that his “rants” could last for up to 20 minutes and that he would place his face two inches from them and shout. One officer said Tarrant’s aggressive manner made him physically sick.

But Alan Large, defending, said: “He [Tarrant] never knowingly or recklessly ill-treated anyone under his command. He accepts he demanded very high standards of performance from the ship’s company in order to carry out HMS Talent’s operational role as tasked by the Royal Navy.”

Commander Alison Tower, prosecuting, said that Tarrant’s behaviour could not be excused by the stress or demands of being involved in secret naval missions.

The court martial continues.

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