Judge calls for ban on drunken parties in UK armed forces after rape case

A judge has called for a ban on parties in the armed forces involving excessive drinking after a Royal Navy sailor was jailed for raping a female colleague following a party at a hotel.

The judge said a pattern of criminal behaviour seemed to be emerging and asked military chiefs to consider finding a way of clamping down on drink-fuelled parties that end with colleagues bunking down together.

AB William Stewart, 26, was jailed for eight and a half years after being found guilty of raping the woman following her birthday party.

The pair were among a group of sailors who had been out drinking before returning to a hotel in the north-east of England to continue the celebrations in a conference room.

Some clothes were removed and the victim poured prosecco over colleagues and herself, the court martial at Bulford military court in Wiltshire heard. She then went with three of the group, including Stewart, to a hotel room, and fell asleep. She woke to find him sexually assaulting her.

Judge Advocate Robert Hill raised concerns about the number of similar incidents and suggested action needed to be taken.

Egli ha detto: “We wish to make this general observation. There seems to be a pattern of behaviour of drinking to excess in each other’s company, ending up in each other’s cabins and choosing to crash in the beds they are in.

“This is the second case in a matter of weeks of the behavioural trend I have described. It would be appropriate to consider whether any ban should be strictly enforced.”

Wg Cmdr Michael Saunders, perseguire, disse: “They all had a significant amount to drink. [La vittima] was given a bottle of prosecco, as it was her birthday.”

Videos showed her pouring the drink over herself and on to some men with their tops off on the floor, including Stewart.

Giving evidence, she told the court: “We were celebrating that [her birthday] and a couple of people were promoted, so we were celebrating that, pure.

“We were all having drinks and everybody was having a good time. We were all in the conference room, and we ordered pizza. ‘Naked mess!’ was shouted. It was just tops off.”

She said she fell asleep in someone’s room and woke when Stewart, whom she hardly knew, assaulted her. “He basically did what he wanted and I hoped it would be over," lei disse. “I remember praying the lad next to me would wake up. It felt like a lifetime.”

Reading her victim impact statement to the court, the woman said she had flashbacks of the attack and it had brought her to “the point of collapse both emotionally and physically”.

in agosto, AB Mitieli Vakalaca was jailed for four years for trying to rape a colleague after he had been drinking heavily. She told court she had suffered anxiety and had been the target of gossip since the attack.

In ottobre, LS Sam Avery was jailed for five years for raping a colleague who had agreed to let him sleep in her room after a night out.

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