Anne-Marie Ellement's family welcome decision to prosecute ex-soldiers


The family of Army Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement who was found hanged after alleging she had been raped by two servicemen have welcomed "with sadness" a decision to prosecute.

Ex-corporals Thomas Fulton and Jeremy Jones have been charged with rape, the Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) said.

They will face a court martial hearing and "they have the right to a fair trial", according to a statement announcing the formal charges from director of service prosecutions (DSP) Andrew Cayley.

Cpl Ellement's sister Sharon Hardy said: "While welcome, today's announcement is tinged with sadness for me because Anne-Marie - who believed so strongly in justice - is not here to see it."

Another sister Khristina Swain said: "We as a family are absolutely delighted to hear this news. We are of course deeply saddened that Anne-Marie is not here. We are so grateful for all the support we have received and we look forward to learning the truth."

Cpl Ellement hanged herself at Bulford Barracks in Wiltshire on October 9 2011, two years after she alleged that two soldiers raped her while she was stationed in Germany in November 2009.

The 30-year-old, from Bournemouth, alleged she was then bullied by other female soldiers.

An MoD spokesman said: "We are aware that two former soldiers have been charged with rape.

"This is a matter for the Service Prosecution Authority and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further while legal proceedings are ongoing."

After an initial investigation in 2009 the case was referred to the SPA who decided there was "insufficient evidence to prosecute," according to the SPA statement.

It adds: "In 2013 at the request of the family the then DSP referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for a review. That review was completed earlier this year.

"As a result of the review, and having considered all the available evidence in this case, I am satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to charge the defendants with these offences and that it is in the public and service interest to prosecute them.

"In coming to this decision I have concluded that the original decision by the SPA not to prosecute was wrong."