Anne-Marie Ellement case: 'Corporals raped colleague after drinking together'


Two corporals raped an "extremely drunk" colleague after spending the evening drinking together in their mess, a court heard.

Thomas Fulton, 28, and Jeremy Jones, also 28, are accused of raping army corporal Anne-Marie Ellement in the early hours of November 20 2009.

Bulford Court Martial Centre in Wiltshire heard the soldiers, who have since left the Army, admit that sexual activity took place.

However, they insist Cpl Ellement - who died two years after alleging she had been raped - fully consented to what happened.

Prosecuting, Sarah Whitehouse QC, told the court: "In the early hours of the morning of November 20 2009 a young woman was found in a corridor in the Army quarters where she lived at the time.

"This young woman was entirely naked apart from a long cardigan that she was carrying.

"She appeared to be extremely drunk. She was struggling to keep her balance. Her feet were muddy and she was crying.

"This young woman was Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement."

Ms Whitehouse said Cpl Ellement was aged 28 at the time of the incident and was serving with the Royal Military Police in Germany.

Cpl Ellement had a disagreement with a colleague at work on November 19 2009 and drank two bottles of beer before heading to the mess.

Fulton - the boyfriend of Cpl Ellement's friend Cpl Sarah Noteyoung - and Jones were at the bar along with two others when she arrived there at about 10pm.

"There's no doubt that over the next hour or two hours Miss Ellement drank a great deal, as did Mr Fulton and Mr Jones," Ms Whitehouse said.

"At some stage during the evening Miss Ellement drank a Red Bull cocktail. It was undoubtedly a very potent mix."

It is unclear whether Cpl Ellement or Jones poured the drink, which contained four to five shots of vodka, one to two shots of brightly coloured spirits and Red Bull, the court heard.

Witnesses described flirting and kissing between Cpl Ellement, Fulton and Jones.

Fulton and Jones were heard discussing a threesome, which Fulton later suggested to Cpl Ellement, it was alleged.

Cpl Ellement is said to have declined this because of Fulton's girlfriend Cpl Noteyoung, who was attending a funeral in England at the time.

She left the mess with Fulton and Jones then headed to Jones's room at about 12.30am on November 20.

"Some things she remembers, other things she doesn't," Ms Whitehouse said.

"She remembers Thomas Fulton having sex with her and she found it painful. She remembers Jeremy Jones grabbing her breast."

Jones later said the three had all undressed in his room and both he and Fulton had consensual sex with Cpl Ellement, the court heard.

He described them all as "giggling and being silly" throughout. Cpl Ellement, in her video interview, had no recollection of sex with Jones.

Ms Whitehouse described how a shakey and "very confused" Cpl Ellement was discovered in her corridor by colleague Cpl Charlene Pritchard at 1.37am that morning.

Another colleague, Cpl Kelly Broadhurst, came to help Cpl Ellement and heard her say "I didn't want it. He tried to have sex with me".

"She said he had sex with her and she said 'stop' but he carried on for 10 minutes," Ms Whitehouse said.

Fulton and Jones were arrested later that morning and were interviewed. Fulton declined to comment, while Jones insisted both men had consensual sex with Cpl Ellement.

Ms Whitehouse told the panel Cpl Ellement had died in 2011, adding that the "circumstances of that sad event are not relevant" to their task.

Ex-corporals Fulton, formerly of 174 Provost Company 3 Royal Military Police, and Jones, 28, formerly of Close Protection Unit Royal Military Police Operations Wing, deny two charges of rape each.

The rapes are alleged to have taken place between November 18 and 21 2009.

The trial, in front of Judge Jeff Blackett, is expected to last between two and three weeks.

In a lengthy video interview, Cpl Ellement said she had returned home from work at about 5.45pm.

"I was a bit angry because I had a disagreement with one of the girls," she said.

"I started drinking at about 7pm. At about 10pm I wanted to get out of the block because all of the girls were around.

"I thought I would go to the mess. I cycled down to the mess on my bike.

"When I got into the mess Jez Jones was behind the bar. Tom Fulton was in the bar."

Cpl Ellement said Fulton and Jones were in their uniforms, while she was dressed in a long brown cardigan and blue jeans.

She first had a beer before Fulton suggested they did shots, then she had a "vodka and Red Bull with blue balls", she said.

"The last drink I had was a Corona," she said. "The total was eight drinks.

"We were joking about doing the splits and then when I was trying to stretch to touch my toes as a joke.

"Jez came up behind me and started to do like he was trying to have sex with me from behind.

"I thought it was just a joke. Then Tom kept mentioning to me about having a threesome."

Cpl Ellement said Fulton showed her a text message from Cpl Noteyoung to him, saying "Tell Anne-Marie Jez fancies her".

She believed her friend was having a joke with her, knowing that she used to find Jones "quite cute".

"I can't remember the majority of the stuff that happened in the mess," she said.

The three colleagues went upstairs to Jones's room so he could get changed to go out to another bar, she said.

"The next thing I can remember is that Tom was on top of me and I was like 'no, it is really hurting'," she said.

"The last thing I remember is Jez grabbing my breasts. Then I have a massive memory block and I can't remember anything.

"I can't remember how I got back to my accommodation."

Cpl Ellement said she would never have had sex with Fulton as Cpl Noteyoung was "one of my best friends".

"I was saying 'no it really hurts, it really really hurts, stop'," she said.

"I know for a fact that I would never have done anything with Tom because of Sarah and because I don't like him like that."

Cpl Ellement described how colleagues had found her naked outside her accommodation block but she had no recollection of going there.

"I had no clothes on whatsoever," she said.

"There's no way that I would run across camp naked. For me to run out of the room naked something has to have happened but I don't remember."

During the alleged rape, Cpl Ellement said Fulton was acting "like it was a joke".

"As he was doing it he was laughing and smiling," she said.

"I was getting angry at the fact that I was trying to get up and pull my trousers up.

"I know that he was wearing uniform to begin with but I don't remember entering the room.

"I really don't remember what he was wearing. I just remember his face and what he was doing."