England

Cpl Anne-Marie Ellement case: Ex-soldiers deny rape

Anne-Marie Ellement
Image caption Anne-Marie Ellement, who had been a soldier for five years, died three days after her 30th birthday

Two former Army corporals have denied raping a comrade who was found hanged in her barracks.

Thomas Fulton and Jeremy Jones are accused of attacking fellow corporal Anne-Marie Ellement, from Bournemouth.

The rape is alleged to have taken place in Germany in 2009. Cpl Ellement, 30, was found dead at Bulford Barracks in Wiltshire in October 2011.

At the Military Court Centre in Bulford Camp, Judge Jeff Blackett ordered a three-week trial to begin on 11 April.

'Lingering effect'

The allegations of rape were investigated in 2009 and the case was referred to the Service Prosecuting Authority, which decided there was "insufficient evidence to prosecute".

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Cpl Ellement, pictured with her sisters, was found hanged in October 2011

Mr Fulton, 27, formerly of 174 Provost Company 3 Royal Military Police, and Mr Jones, 28, formerly of Close Protection Unit Royal Military Police Operations Wing, were each charged in October with two counts of rape following a review by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The judge said to the men: "You have both been released on your own providence but you are to attend at this court on March 3rd or an earlier date if that is to be arranged."

The hearing was attended by Cpl Ellement's mother, Alexandra Barritt, and sisters, Sharon Hardy and Khristina Swain.

In 2014 a coroner at a second inquest into Cpl Ellement's death ruled that bullying and the "lingering" effect of the alleged rape were factors in her death.

"Work-related despair" and a romantic break-up were also factors, the coroner said.

In May 2014 the Ministry of Defence said better training was needed for those dealing with vulnerable soldiers judged a suicide risk.

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