England

Anne-Marie Ellement: Apology over barracks rape investigation

Cpl Anne-Marie Ellement Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Anne-Marie Ellement joined the Army at the age of 25

The Royal Military Police has admitted failings in its inquiry into a rape allegation at a barracks in Germany.

Cpl Anne-Marie Ellement, from Bournemouth, was found hanged in 2011 after claiming she had been raped by two Army colleagues in 2009.

Aspects of the original investigation into the alleged rape were "unacceptable", the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

Ex-corporals Jeremy Jones and Thomas Fulton were cleared of rape in April.

The men both insisted they had consensual sex with Ms Ellement.

'Apologises unreservedly'

An MoD statement said: "It is now clear that mistakes were made in the original investigation, including in relation to decision making.

"It is vital that we learn the lessons of these events."

In a direct apology to Cpl Ellement's family for the failings, it said: "Anne-Marie deserved better and for that the Royal Military Police apologises unreservedly to the family.

"The Royal Military Police and the wider Army pay tribute to them for the courage and determination that they have shown on behalf of Anne-Marie."

In a statement released through campaign group Liberty, which represented the family, Cpl Ellement's sister, Sharon Hardy, said: "I know that the RMP failed my sister and am glad that has finally been admitted.

"I acknowledge the apology with a heavy heart, but it remains to be seen if they have in fact learnt any lessons."

Emma Norton, acting legal director of Liberty, said the case showed the importance of the Human Rights Act for military families.

"It was only the Human Rights Act that let Anne-Marie's sisters secure a fresh inquest, exposing the bullying she had suffered and leading to important reforms for crime victims in our armed forces," she said.

"It was only the Act that let them secure a fresh, independent rape investigation."

Cpl Ellement took her own life aged 30 at Bulford Barracks, near Salisbury, Wiltshire on 9 October 2011.

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