England

Army rape accused insists 'sex was consensual'

Anne-Marie Ellement Image copyright Handout
Image caption Anne-Marie Ellement joined the Army at the age of 25

A former Army corporal accused of raping a colleague with another ex-soldier told a military court the alleged victim consented to sex.

Thomas Fulton, 28, was stationed at barracks in Sennelager, Germany, at the time of the alleged attack on Anne-Marie Ellement, from Bournemouth, in November 2009.

Ms Ellement died two years after reporting she had been raped.

Mr Fulton and ex-corporal Jeremy Jones, 28, both deny rape.

Cpl Ellement, who was 28 at the time, was found nearly naked and crying outside her accommodation in the early hours of 20 November 2009.

Image copyright Solent News and Photo Agency
Image caption Cpl Thomas Fulton (left) and Cpl Jeremy Jones both deny rape

Mr Fulton told the court he and Mr Jones had been drinking with Cpl Ellement.

He said: "We went back to the room with the intention to have sex. She kissed us, she instigated things."

He told the court he awoke later to find Cpl Ellement had left wearing his lightweight trousers.

When he found her nearby, an argument ensued when she refused to return them.

He said: "She pulled the lightweights down in front of me and she threw them to my chest."

He admitted hurling insults at the corporal, adding: "I was frustrated that she had spoiled a really good night for us all."

He said: "I was 21. It is the biggest regret of my life that I never walked Anne-Marie back that night."

Image caption Anne-Marie Ellement, who was 28 at the time of the alleged attack, has since died

Mr Fulton said he and Mr Jones then took a taxi to a nightclub but received a call informing them that Cpl Ellement was upset.

When they returned, they were arrested on suspicion of rape but the case was dismissed in January 2010.

The panel of civil servants and senior military officers at the trial had not been told the circumstances of Cpl Ellement's death in 2011, when she was aged 30.

But in an interview read to the court, Mr Fulton told officers: "I am really sorry she killed herself. I wish something had been done to help her."

Cpl Fulton, formerly of 174 Provost Company 3 Royal Military Police, and Cpl Jones, formerly of Close Protection Unit Royal Military Police Operations Wing, each deny two charges of rape.

The trial continues.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Cpl Ellement had insisted she would not have consented to sex with either of the men

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