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Anne-Marie Ellement case: Army corporals cleared of rape

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

Two former army corporals have been cleared of raping a female colleague at a barracks in Germany.

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

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

A seven-strong panel at the military tribunal in Bulford Court Martial Centre, Wiltshire, found the pair not guilty after an eight-day trial.

The panel heard the men, who have since left the Army, engaged in a "threesome" with Cpl Ellement in the early hours of 20 November 2009 after a drinking session.

Ms Ellement was later said to have been found nearly naked and crying outside her accommodation.

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

'Truly dishonourable'

Following the verdicts, Judge Jeff Blackett told the defendants their conduct towards Cpl Ellement had been "disgraceful".

He said: "This is not a moral judgment and I make no comment upon sexual practices involving more than two people.

"But the way you treated Anne-Marie after your encounter was extremely unpleasant.

"After engaging in sex, you effectively discarded her while you decided to go off to town without a thought for how she might be feeling or how she might get back to her accommodation safely.

"For Mr Fulton to call her those very unpleasant names including the word 'slag' was truly dishonourable.

Image copyright Handout
Image caption Anne-Marie Ellement died in 2011

"You may have grown up in the seven years since this incident and I hope you will never act in such an appalling way again."

Mr Jones, formerly of Close Protection Unit Royal Military Police Operations Wing, and Mr Fulton, formerly of 174 Provost Company 3 Royal Military Police, were initially arrested on suspicion of rape but the case was dismissed.

They were later charged with rape in 2015. They have been found not guilty of all charges by the court martial board.

After the verdicts Emma Norton, a lawyer for Liberty which represents Cpl Ellement's family, said: "Anne-Marie was entitled to have her allegations investigated while she was still alive.

"As the judge himself noted in very strong terms, this case should have been heard five years ago.

"The family welcome the judge's comments about the extremely unpleasant and dishonourable conduct of the defendants. They share the judge's concerns about the culture within the Royal Military Police."

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

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