Ex-soldier 'gave Nazi salute'

A FORMER soldier who dressed as a Nazi and saluted passing cars in a town centre has been hit with a anti-social behaviour order to prevent repeat actions.

A FORMER soldier who dressed as a Nazi and saluted passing cars in a town centre has been hit with a anti-social behaviour order to prevent repeat actions.

Neil Carpenter, who served with both the British and American armies, donned a Nazi-style helmet with an SS emblem and a green jacket with Swastika.

A policeman approached the 39-year-old as he stood at the junction of Headgate and St John's Street in Colchester, and Carpenter then shouted “Zig Heil” and saluted the officer before speaking to him in “German sounding” language.

But at Colchester Magistrates' Court yesterday Carpenter was given an ASBO banning him from wearing military gear, or pseudo military uniforms.


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He is also prevented from making military gestures or movements such as saluting or other actions which “appear to be of a military nature”.

If Carpenter breaks the terms of the ASBO within the next two years he will face jail.

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Carpenter, who was also wearing a white shirt, black tie, black trousers and had a poppy tucked in the helmet, said he was trying to highlight the futility of war.

The court was told Carpenter had served in the British Military for three years and in the US Army for 15 years and took an interest in the history of warfare.

He said the uniform belonged to the German Police and had been brought back by his grandfather who served as there as an officer during the Second World War.

Carpenter pleaded guilty to intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress to the police officer who stopped him on December 9.

District Judge David Cooper said his actions could cause offence to people in the garrison town and those who had served during the war, although he said the officer who had been offended by the actions should “get a grip”.

He said: “I am not sure a police officer should be distressed, members of forces might well be indignant, people who served in World War II and fought for their country would be very indignant I think.”

Carpenter, of no fixed address, was jailed for 42 days but, because he had been in custody since the incident, he will be out within seven days.

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