MEDIA RELEASE: Peace campaigner serves civil claim against US serviceman

For immediate release

CAAB logoHaving failed to bring a US serviceman to court to account for his actions for seriously assaulting a British citizen through the criminal legal route, a Civil Claim against First Class Airman Frank Macdonald (United States Air Force – RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire) has now been served.

The Claim was issued at Harrogate County Court on 23 February 2009 by Lindis Percy (Co-coordinator of the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases – CAAB). It was served on the US serviceman by Harrogate County Court on 25 February 2009. An Acknowledgement of Service was filed to the court on behalf of Frank Macdonald by Lyndon B James (Director of International Law – RAF Mildenhall).

This incident happened in February 2006. After a lengthy legal struggle, Ms Percy finally brought a private prosecution against Frank Macdonald in 2007 and also against two Ministry of Defence Police Agency officers (PC Awathes and PC Woodhouse) who stood by and did not intervene while she was seriously assaulted. Ms Percy suffered a facial palsy for six weeks as a result of the assault by Frank Macdonald.

The case was taken over by the Crown Prosecution Service in 2008 and stopped after the US authorities submitted a Certificate of Immunity ((under the Visiting Forces Act 1952) to Northampton Magistrates’ Court. This meant that this court had no jurisdiction to hear the case.

Ms Percy said, “Apparently a member of the US visiting forces can do what they like and commit criminal offences with impunity while the Ministry of Defence Police Agency stand by and watch a serious crime being committed. By issuing this Claim I hope that Frank Macdonald will be brought to account. Special relationship? it is so special that they are allowed to do what they like here and round the world”.

Notes for the Editors

  • An account of the incident at RAF Croughton can be found on the CAAB website – CAAB reports – entitled “They do what they like” –
  • Ministry of Defence Police Agency officers serving on US bases are paid for and under the control of the US authorities (see Memorandum of Agreement 2008 -CAAB website under Documents and Judgments).
  • In 2007 Lyndon B James (a British solicitor) received an award from the US for ‘outstanding achievements in the field of law within the USAF’.
  • Lyndon B James can be contacted at Headquarters 3rd United States Airforce, 16th Air Force, Detachment 3RAF Mildenhall Suffolk 1P28 8NF – main switchboard: 01638 543000

For further information please contact:

Elizabeth Barclay – CAAB press officer: 01765 608750 – mobile 07799150879

Lindis Percy – 01423 884076 mobile 07949897904