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A BULLYING Army sergeant who was jailed and demoted for violently mistreating young recruits has lost a challenge against his sentence.

Liam Cruise-Taylor punched and swore at seven recruits with the Irish Guards, a regiment that guards the royal family, a court heard.

He twisted one soldier’s nipples and slapped another in the face for saying his name incorrectly while drilling them at Catterick Infantry Centre, North Yorkshire, between July 2016 and February 2017. Another was elbowed in the chest during a locker inspection, with Cruise-Taylor telling him to ‘stand up and take it like a man’.

The 32-year-old was sentenced to six months’ service detention and demoted to lance corporal after he admitted ill-treating subordinates at a court martial in April.

At the Criminal Appeal Court in London, Cruise-Taylor’s legal team urged three judges to substitute a suspended sentence and reinstate him as a lance sergeant.

Lord Justice Davis said Cruise-Taylor, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, was ‘one of the best junior NCOs in the Irish Guards’ before his disgrace.

None of the blows were ‘particularly hard’ and the recruits did not need medical treatment, the court heard.

Cruise-Taylor, who had served in Afghanistan, had said he had been a victim of bullying and believed it had triggered a ‘depressive illness’. Dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Davis said it was ‘a bad case of bullying’, adding: ‘No lance sergeant can possibly behave in the way he behaved — taking advantage of his rank and status with regard to raw recruits.’

Cruise-Taylor has recovered from his depression and is now rebuilding his military career, the judge added.