England

Army rape accused 'thought threesome idea was joke'

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

A former Army corporal accused of raping a colleague with another soldier said he thought it was a joke when his co-accused and the alleged victim suggested a threesome.

Jeremy Jones and Thomas Fulton, both 28, deny raping Cpl Anne-Marie Ellement, from Bournemouth, in 2009.

The men say the sex with Ms Ellement, who died in 2011, was consensual.

Mr Jones said the three were "giggling and laughing" during the encounter in the early hours of 20 November 2009.

Ms Ellement was later found outside her accommodation at the barracks in Sennelager, Germany, wearing only a cardigan, crying and with muddy feet.

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

Mr Jones told the court he could not remember whether it was fellow corporals Mr Fulton or Ms Ellement who first discussed having a threesome.

"I thought they were joking but they made it quite clear it was not a joke," Mr Jones said.

"She was fully aware of what was going on and she made the decision, and the three of us were all excited to go back to the room."

After the encounter, Mr Jones said he asked Ms Ellement to return his blue hooded jumper, which she was wearing, and she put on her brown cardigan.

He suggested to Mr Fulton that they go into Sennelager, which appeared to upset Ms Ellement, who left.

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

Previously, Mr Fulton told the court that Ms Ellement had left the room wearing his trousers and, when he tracked her down to a nearby car park to get them back, an argument ensued before she pulled them off and threw them at him.

The men were initially arrested on suspicion of rape but the case was dismissed. They were later charged with rape in 2015.

A panel of civil servants and senior military officers at the hearing in Wiltshire was not initially told the circumstances of Ms Ellement's death in 2011. They later heard in evidence that she had taken her own life.

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

The trial continues.

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