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Michael Lyons’ appeal fails

Michael Lyons, the navy medic who was jailed for seven months for refusing, on moral and ethical grounds, to attend rifle training, has lost his appeal against conviction.

He had been convicted of “wilful disobedience” after he asked not to participate in the training as he had applied for conscientious objector status. He was given 7 months detention, stripped of his rank as leading medical assistant and dismissed from the service.

On 13 October three judges sitting at the court of appeal rejected the challenge to his conviction and also dismissed his appeal against his “manifestly excessive” sentence. Last December he applied for dismissal on the grounds of conscientious objection but was turned down by the navy as well as by the Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objection (ACCO), which described his objection as “political” rather than “moral”. He should be released from military detention in mid-November.

Write a letter: 236 Michael Lyons, D Company, MCTC, Berechurch Hall Rd, Colchester CO2 9MU.