Pte James Fox Farrell was convicted of attempted murder following an incident at Catterick Garrison
A trainee soldier who tried to stab another in the head after allegedly being bullied has failed in a bid to have his conviction overturned.
Private James Fox Farrell, 18, thrust a knife at Rifleman Curtis Horbury while the pair were training at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire.
Rifleman Horbury rolled out of the way and the blade went through a mattress he was lying on, hitting the bed-frame.
Farrell, who is from Halifax, was found guilty of attempted murder following a hearing at Colchester’s Military Court Centre in February.
He also admitted possessing 42 rounds of live ammunition and 30 rounds of blank ammunition and was jailed for six years in March.
Farrell today tried to have his attempted murder conviction quashed at the Court of Appeal, in London.
His lawyers argued the guilty verdict was “unsafe” because the judge misdirected the court martial board.
But his appeal was rejected by three senior judges, who said there was “no error” made during the court martial and upheld the conviction.
The court heard Farrell was serving with the 2nd Infantry Training Battalion.
He and Rifleman Horbury were among a number of recruits staying in barracks while completing training in November last year.
Lord Justice Davis said Farrell had been subjected to some “mickey-taking” by some of his colleagues and had left his dormitory.
He returned 25 minutes later with a knife and thrust it into Rifleman Horbury’s bed, before shouting: “Let that be a warning”.
Farrell’s lawyers said he had endured bullying and hadn’t intended to kill his roommate.
They argued the judge had misdirected the board when summarizing the defense case, particularly in relation to where Farrell had aimed the knife.
But Lord Justice Davis said: “The board had the eye-witness evidence, all of which was to the effect that the knife had been struck towards the neck or skull.”
Sitting with Mr Justice Lewis and Mr Justice Lavender, he concluded: “The board had to consider all the evidence.
“We see no error with the judge’s summing up and we dismiss this appeal.”