Sailor wants plea dumped in chook scandal


A sailor who admitted playing a role in the HMAS Newcastle rubber chicken rape scandal wants to withdraw his plea, claiming a miscarriage of justice.

At a court-martial hearing in September for able seamen Jonathan Walter and Mitchell Summers, the alleged victim, who cannot be named, testified about a brutal hazing ritual in 2011.

The sailor said he was smeared with Deep Heat and Vegemite before being raped with a rubber chicken, and was left with burns to his body and genitals from the ointment.

But the pair were found innocent in November of all charges, including rape.

A third man, able seaman Michael Daniel Thompson, previously admitted to hog-tying and indecently assaulting the sailor.

But Thompson has now made an application to the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal, asking his plea be quashed.

His lawyer Tony Elliott told the tribunal in Perth on Friday his client was under the "misapprehension" that in pleading guilty, the matter would be dealt with in a lower court with less sentencing power.

But instead, he faces punishment from the general court-martial.

"To suggest he would have no cause for complaint ... is a meritless proposition," Mr Elliott said.

He said when an admission was made under an induced misapprehension, it could only result in a miscarriage of justice.

However, navy lawyer Arthur Moses argued there was no miscarriage of justice.

The tribunal will deliver its decision at a later date.

A fourth seaman, Rohan Angre, has also pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the same alleged incident, but his case is yet to be dealt with.