Wednesday, 20 April 2016

16:04, UK, Wednesday 20 April 2016
Anne-Marie Ellement inquest
Two former soldiers have been acquitted of raping Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement, who was later found hanged in her barracks.
Cpl Ellement died at Bulford Barracks in Wiltshire on 9 October 2011, almost two years after alleging she was raped by two soldiers.
She said it happened while she was stationed in Germany in November 2009.
Thomas Fulton and Jeremy Jones, both 28, insisted she had engaged in a consensual threesome after drinking with them in the corporals' mess at the camp in Sennelager.
A seven-strong board of civil servants and senior military officers at Bulford Court Martial Centre found both Fulton and Jones not guilty of two charges of raping Cpl Ellement, who served in the Royal Military Police.
Following the verdicts, Judge Jeff Blackett told the defendants: "Thomas Fulton and Jeremy Jones: your conduct on 20 November was disgraceful.
"This is not a moral judgment and I make no comment upon sexual practices involving more than two people.
"But the way you treated Anne-Marie after your encounter was extremely unpleasant.
"After engaging in sex you effectively discarded her while you decided to go off to town without a thought for how she might be feeling or how she might get back to her accommodation safely."
The verdicts follow a lengthy fight for justice by Cpl Ellement's family, as the case was originally dismissed in 2010.
Judge Blackett said: "This case should have been heard five years ago.
"The extreme delay in bringing (it) to court ultimately prejudiced the defendants, Anne-Marie and justice generally."
In March 2014, coroner Nicholas Rhinberg said the "lingering mental effects" of the alleged rape were a factor in Cpl Ellement's suicide.
Mr Rhinberg found she believed she had been raped and was strongly affected by the "deeply humiliating experience".
His comments followed the second inquest into Cpl Ellement's death, which took place after her family used Article 2 of the Human Rights Act to demand a fresh hearing.
The family, represented by Liberty, also fought for a fresh investigation into the rape allegations against Fulton, from Chester, and Jones, from Carmarthenshire.
The case was later investigated by the RAF Police, who worked with civilian officers from Bedfordshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Fulton and Jones, who left the Army in 2014 and 2013 respectively, were each charged with two counts of rape in October last year.