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Former Queen’s Guard at Windsor Castle who sexually assaulted a female colleague as she slept is jailed for two-and-a-half years and dismissed from the Army
- A former Queen’s guardsman admitted to sexually assaulting a female colleague
- The victim awoke to him calling her name as he inappropriately touched her
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A former Queen’s Guard at Windsor Castle who sexually assaulted a female colleague as she slept has been jailed for two-and-a-half years and dismissed from the Army.
The Irish Guardsman returned to his barracks drunk after a night out and crept into the ‘sanctuary’ of the dorm his victim shared with other female soldiers.
She awoke to the sound of him calling her name as he intimately touched her, a military court heard.
The woman said she was so traumatised she had to leave the Army for almost a year, and accused him of ‘robbing’ her of her military career.
The Guardsman was also ‘significantly’ involved in the supply of cocaine to other soldiers, the hearing was told.
A former Queen’s Guard at Windsor Castle who sexually assaulted a female colleague as she slept has been jailed for two-and-a-half years and dismissed from the Army. [File image]
The serviceman – who was granted anonymity at the military court – originally denied the attack but admitted the offence just days before he was due to go on trial.
Appearing at Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, the Guardsman, whose regiment has a ceremonial role at the historic royal castle, was jailed for two and a half years and dismissed from the Army.
Captain Daniel Lawlor, prosecuting, told the court: ‘The victim went out with friends. They started in a Wetherspoons pub before moving to a club.
‘[The Guardsman] arrived later than the others. They had known each other for around a month. She had few drinks that night.
‘The group dispersed. She went to her barracks and went to bed. She was woken by the Guardsman calling her and rubbing her vagina through her jogging bottoms.
‘He pulled her jogging bottoms and underwear down and started rubbing her. She reported that it hurt.
‘She told him to go away. In the morning, she told her fellow troops what had happened to her and reported him to her chain of command.
The Irish Guardsman returned to his barracks drunk after a night out and crept into the ‘sanctuary’ of the dorm his victim shared with other female soldiers
‘(The victim) was vulnerable at the time because she was asleep and by the time she woke up it was too late.’
Captain Lawlor added that the Guardsman was arrested and denied the allegations – even when he was shown CCTV footage of him entering the woman’s room.
He said that DNA found on her underwear was traced back to the defendant.
In a statement read to the court, his victim – who cannot be named – said she could not even bear to wear a uniform as it became a ‘constant reminder’ of what he had done.
The female soldier, who is receiving ongoing therapy, said she felt ‘vulnerable and isolated’ and was dogged by nightmares and sleepless nights.
‘I will never be able to do ceremonial duties as I can’t return to Windsor through fear of the trauma being brought back,’ she added.
‘He did not admit to what he did. I had to prepare for a trial. The thought of facing him again made me feel physically sick.’
The court heard the Guardsman was struggling with alcohol and cocaine addictions at the time of the attack, and afterwards tried to overdose on antidepressants.
Barrister Alejandra Tascon, mitigating, said the defendant had been diagnosed with depression and PTSD due to traumatic events in his childhood.
She said he had a ‘troubled life’ and became consumed by feelings of ‘anger and being wronged’.
He increasingly turned to drink and drugs and, at the time of the assault, was known to drink three bottles of Jack Daniels a day, she told the court.
Ms Tascon said he had a ‘wake up call’ when he was admitted to hospital after the assault because he had tried to overdose on antidepressants.
He was now working hard to ‘overcome’ his vices, she said, suggesting that a prison sentence would do ‘more harm than good’.
Judge Advocate General Alan Large jailed the Guardsman and placed him on the sex offender register for 10 years, as well as dismissing him from the armed forces.
Judge Large said he had caused ‘considerable suffering’ to the woman he assaulted.
‘It was her home that you entered – the only sanctuary a soldier has is her private bed space,’ he said.
‘The Royal Military Police seized her clothing and your DNA was found on her underwear.
‘The case went to court and you pleaded not guilty. It could have been resolved in a month.
‘You did not give a guilty plea until days before the trial.
‘Unfortunately the victim and her family were only informed after they travelled to court.
‘You have admitted significant involvement with the use and supply of cocaine while serving in the Army.
‘I have got to dismiss you from His Majesty’s Armed Forces.’
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