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Edwin Mee: Sex attacks on army cadets 'never happened'

Edwin Mee Image copyright PA
Image caption Edwin Mee denies sexual attacks on female cadets

An Army recruitment sergeant who served with the Special Forces in Iraq has denied sexually attacking female cadets.

Edwin Mee, 46, is accused of exploiting his position of trust and power to abuse or rape women while working at Army offices in Croydon, south east London.

Mr Mee, of Tavistock Road, Croydon, denied the allegations.

He told Southwark Crown Court the Army was his "life".

'Never happened ma'am'

Mr Mee is charged with 17 counts of sexual assault, three rapes and one count of assault by penetration against 11 victims in 2010 and 2011.

The alleged attacks happened while he was working at the Mitcham Barracks Army Careers and Information Office in Croydon.

Asked in court by Lisa Wilding QC, defending, how he responded to the allegations, Mr Mee replied: "That never happened ma'am."

The court heard that he joined the army aged 24 and went on to serve in Iraq - where he was attached to the Special Forces - and in Afghanistan and Bosnia.

He was suspended in 2011 and medically discharged from the Army in April 2014.

'Cutting corners'

When asked him how he felt about his time in the service Mr Mee said: "The Army was my life, and if it wasn't for all this mess I would still be there."

He conceded that he would swear in the recruitment office and shouted at recruits.

He also admitted he would make comments to "threaten or intimidate" recruits because the Army is not a nine to five job, and they needed to understand that they could lose their lives.

However, Mr Mee also said he was "protective" of his candidates and felt he was in the best position to help them, occasionally "cutting corners".

The court was told he disregarded normal recruitment procedures to keep recruits to himself and he interviewed applicants out of hours to "deliberately target" his victims.

One of the women claims she was a virgin in her early 20s, but became pregnant after Mr Mee raped her in a locked waiting room.

The trial continues.

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