12 May 2016

Soldier recalls spinning out, feeling scared

1:48 pm on 12 May 2016

A soldier told a military police interviewer he recalled spinning out but did not remember taking any drugs, a video interview played in a Court Martial has shown.

Lance Corporal Joshua Mapson, left, and Private Barclay Bishop.

Lance Corporal Joshua Mapson, left, and Private Barclay Bishop. Photo: RNZ / Michael Cropp

Lance Corporal Joshua Mapson and Private Bishop Barclay are charged with doing an act likely to prejudice service discipline, namely taking a psychoactive substance on the night of 24 October last year.

They were part of a group of eight soldiers taken to the Palmerston North police station last October after apparently taking the drug N-BOMe.

In the interview conducted by Military Police, Mr Mapson said he did not remember much from the night but recalled spinning out, feeling scared, and being in a lot of pain.

He said he could remember someone saying something about drugs, that there was talk about a capsule. "I don't know if it was in regards to me," he said.

When asked why he would have taken it, or how, he said he did not know and his drink was probably spiked but it was possible he took it himself.

"But if I took it, I mustn't have been myself," he said. "I would not imagine anyone would want to spike me."

Military police officer Corporal Richard Skipper said Mr Mapson told him, while being held in a cell, that he had taken drugs earlier that evening.

"[Mr Mapson] said it was in a capsule and he had put some white powder up his nose," Mr Skipper said.

But Mr Mapson said he could not even remember saying that, let alone taking the drugs.

He said he was very drunk, but it was not in his nature to take drugs so his drink must have been spiked.

In another recorded interview, Private Barclay said his memory was already blurry by the time he got to town, but then it went completely blank.

"It is literally like someone has taken a cake slice and chopped it away," he said.

He could not remember talking about drugs, let alone taking them, he said. It was possible he could have taken them, but he did not know why he would have done that.

When Corporal Skipper told him that other soldiers had admitted taking drugs, he said that did not change what he thought he knew.

"I can't just make stuff up to fit with what everyone else has said," he told the interviewer.

He said his mother had passed away earlier that year, his girlfriend had left him and he thought he had developed a drinking problem.

He said his drink might have been spiked, or he may have been tricked into drinking a spiked drink.