A SOLDIER suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after returning from Afghanistan threatened to kill two recruits before kidnapping one of them from an Army base.

Lance Corporal David Millican was jailed for four years today (Monday, December 10) after a court martial heard one of the soldiers was told he would have his face cut so he resembled The Joker from the Batman films.

The hearing was told Millican had been binge-drinking to deaden the symptoms of PTSD when he burst into a sleeping private’s room at Marne Barracks, Catterick Village, North Yorkshire at around 3.30am on Sunday, August 19.

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Millican, 25, subjected the near-naked recruit to a four-and-a-half hour ordeal, punching him repeatedly and ranted that he was thinking about stabbing him to death while brandishing a kitchen knife.

Major Jane England, prosecuting, said: “He said afterwards that he did not think he would get out of the room alive and was very scared.”

Millican forced the soldier to help him on with Osprey body armour and apply camouflage face paint before taking him to the room of the second soldier, who owned a car, at around 8am.

The member of the 1st Battalion Mercian Regiment, which specialises in close combat skills, ordered the first soldier him to throttle the second to the point of unconsciousness.

After the first soldier went easy on him, Millican throttled the second himself, before stubbing a cigarette out on the young soldiers’ cheek.

At 9am, Millican told them he was taking them to his brother in Manchester, who would decide whether he should kill them or not.

He bundled both men into a car, with one in the boot, and although one managed to jump out at 30mph and raise the alarm at the base’s guardroom, Millican had already escaped from the base beside the A1(M) and driven a mile to Catterick Village green.

Residents told The Northern Echo they watched from inside their houses as a dramatic scene unfolded outside the village hall, with Millican releasing his remaining captive before partially undressing and calling 999 to hand himself in to civilian police.

He told the operator: “I think I lost the plot.”

Maj England said the soldier who escaped was so shocked by the episode he could not speak for 15 minutes.

Both men, who are now serving in Afghanistan with their unit, have since suffered nightmares and distrust soldiers in higher ranks.

Judge Advocate Emma Peters said Millican had subjected the men to an inhumane experience in a place they should have been able to feel safe.

She said: “It’s quite obvious they have been hugely affected by these events.

“We cannot imagine the terror they must have felt at the hands of someone of a senior rank.”

Millican, who joined the Army in February 2009, admitted charges of false imprisonment, assault and kidnap at the hearing in Colchester.

Stephen Andrews, defending, said Millican had not realised he was suffering PTSD, triggered by Operation Herrick 12 in Afghanistan, during which he witnessed horrific events where several of his comrades had been killed or injured.

Mr Andrews said: “That does not set him apart from any other soldier who has completed successful tours in Afghanistan or anywhere else.

“But he witnessed them and as we know people are affected in different ways.”

Mr Andrews said Millican was horrified by his actions and relieved neither victim had left the Army.

Millican will also be demoted to the ranks and dismissed from the Army.