Ex-corporals charged with rape of Anne-Marie Ellement who later killed herself

Published: Thursday 29th October 2015 by The News Editor

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Two former corporals have been charged with raping a colleague who later killed herself.

Ex-corporal Thomas Fulton and ex-corporal Jeremy Jones have been charged with the rape of Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement, who killed herself in October 2011, the Service Prosecuting Authority.

They are now to face a court martial hearing “and they have the right to a fair trial”, according to a statement announcing the formal charges from director of service prosecutions (DSP) Andrew Cayley.

It adds: “After an initial investigation into the case in 2009 it was referred to the Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) who decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

“In 2013 at the request of the family the then DSP referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for a review. That review was completed earlier this year.

“As a result of the review, and having considered all the available evidence in this case, I am satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to charge the defendants with these offences and that it is in the public and service interest to prosecute them.

“In coming to this decision I have concluded that the original decision by the SPA not to prosecute was wrong.”

Cpl Ellement hanged herself at Bulford Barracks in Wiltshire on October 9 2011, two years after she alleged that two soldiers raped her while she was stationed in Germany in November 2009.

The 30-year-old, from Bournemouth, alleged she was then bullied by other female soldiers.

Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg called on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to review its care for vulnerable soldiers at an inquest in to Cpl Ellement’s death in March.

He ruled that bullying, the “lingering” mental effects of an alleged rape, “work-related despair” and a romantic break-up were all factors in Cpl Ellement’s death.

Mr Rheinberg said at the inquest in Salisbury that, although the care given to Cpl Ellement in the aftermath of the allegation had been of “high quality”, the transfer of information when she returned to the UK had been “unforgivably bad”.

He said he would be recommending to the MoD that it review its Suicide Vulnerability Risk Assessment procedures and ensure that medical personnel are regularly given refresher training.

Mr Rheinberg said: “It is not the function of this inquest to make a determination whether Anne-Marie was raped, that may be for another court to determine, nevertheless I find as fact that Anne-Marie believed she was raped and was deeply affected by what for her was a deeply humiliating experience.”

He ruled that although the MoD had a policy in place for caring for victims of alleged sexual assaults within the Army, a review was needed to ensure that all steps were taken to support the victims, particularly in cases where the allegation was made against a colleague.

Published: Thursday 29th October 2015 by The News Editor

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