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Soldier cleared of rape

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A Corporal has been found not guilty of raping a married woman whose husband was serving in Afghanistan.

He was accused of taking advantage of the complainant as she lay drunk on her bed following a night out in Gütersloh.

The wife admitted having consensual sex with the defendant  – whom this newspaper is not naming – just days before the alleged sexual assault, saying it had been a one-night stand that she regretted.

A military court in Sennelager heard that the 27-year-old complainant had had an affair with another soldier only a week before sleeping with the Corporal.

And according to the defence, she had “panicked” when she thought her husband would find out about her latest infidelity.

Civilian prosecutor Kate Wilkinson told the court that the complainant was “extremely drunk” when she got home in the early hours of November 27, last year after attending a party and visiting a Gütersloh nightclub.

CCTV footage showed the complainant “staggering and stumbling” into the bar and being carried out at 2.30am by the defendant, a long-time friend who was acting as a minder that night.

When they got back to her accommodation, the complainant slept on the marital bed while the accused slept on her bedroom floor.

She told Service police that she awoke at about 7.30am to find herself naked in bed with the defendant who had one hand on her throat and was having sex with her.

“The Crown says [the complainant] was so intoxicated after six hours of drinking that she was incapable of consenting within five hours of leaving the nightclub,” said Ms Wilkinson.

“[But] the defendant claimed she was fully awake and fully participating."

The complainant told investigators she had been involved in an affair with another soldier but said the thought of sleeping with the Corporal again had made her “sick to the stomach” and that being unfaithful was “something I never do”. 

The court heard that the two had exchanged flirtatious text messages after having slept together the first time.

Defending, David Rhodes said: “She was sending [the defendant] mixed messages. This is not a girl making it clear it was a one-off – she was leaving the door open. She was keeping him interested.

“He was shocked and stunned at the accusation.”

Mr Rhodes suggested that the complainant had made up the rape claim out of desperation, to save her marriage.

“People must have seen her go home with the accused. The cat was out of the bag – her lifestyle was over. It was panic.”

The military board cleared the Corporal of rape on July 13.

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