Veteran in one-man protest at gates of Plymouth naval base
A FORMER Royal Navy Petty Officer is staging protests outside the gates of HMNB Devonport in a bid to clear his name.
David Sugden, who served with the Royal Navy for 26 years, has been standing outside St Levan gate daily between 7.15am and 8am after he had his contractor passes – allowing him access to the naval base – taken away.
After he was medically discharged in 2006, Mr Sugden said he was offered a volunteer position as assistant manager at the naval base's heritage centre.
He claims that after five years in his position he was removed and banned from the base after allegations of bullying – which he categorically denies.
NEW FROM SYMPLY - a wet dog food in a tray freshly steamed with real meat and veg you can see minimum of 68% meat content up to 72% in the adult trays.
Terms: Come and try tray at introductory price of £1
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
The 48-year-old, from Weston Mill, said: "I'm trying to get my named cleared.
"I haven't done anything wrong. You don't spend 26 years in the Royal Navy and five years as the assistant manager at the heritage centre to be called a bully."
He said an alleged dispute between himself and another volunteer at the museum began in August last year when Mr Sugden questioned the volunteer about his naval service.
A complaint was made to the MoD police and an officer in charge of the Heritage Centre.
Both the Ministry of Defence Police and the Captain of the naval base investigated the allegations.
In written statements the MoD police said they had found "no evidence" for any criminal offences.
However an investigation instigated by Naval Base Captain Mark Knibbs concluded Mr Sugden was "argumentative", "disruptive" and "intimidating"; all of which he denies.
A Royal Navy spokesperson said: "It is our policy not to discuss the circumstances surrounding individual personnel.
"The Naval Base heritage area has a number of permanent Naval staff and this is supplemented by a band of volunteers.
"The volunteers are people who have an interest in the maritime history and artifacts in the Naval Base.
The numbers of volunteers does fluctuate but we currently have between 20-30."