Army hopeful fails to have MoD ban lifted

Petersen visited Kinloss Barracks 500 times

A MORAY MAN who was barred from entering any Ministry of Defence building has launched an appeal that he hopes will pave the way to a career in the reserve forces.

John Petersen had the ban imposed when he appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court in September last year facing complaints that he had visited Kinloss Barracks 500 times in the space of just under three months in an attempt to join the Army.

Petersen, who lives near the Moray military base, was told that he could not enter any MoD property for a year – however, he returned to court this week in the hope of having that order overturned so that he could visit Army Career Offices or other military establishments.

The 49-year-old still harbours hopes of joining the Army Reserve but, at 49, he is close to exceeding the maximum entry age of 50.

His solicitor Robert Cruickshank told Elgin Sheriff Court that his client would come to the end of the age limit in October – one month after his bail condition comes to an end. He added: “His crimes all centred around Kinloss Barracks, and banning him from all MoD premises precludes him from visiting recruiting offices.”

The solicitor admitted that Petersen’s application to join the forces “may not be well founded”, but his client asked that the bail condition be changed to focus only on Kinloss Barracks “where all the real mischief occurred”.

However, Sheriff Chris Dickson noted that the outcome of further psychological examinations might prevent Petersen from joining the Army. He refused to vary the conditions of his bail.