'Threesome was being discussed' between 'rape' complainant and two soldiers

Updated: 

An Army corporal allegedly raped by two colleagues had discussed having a threesome with them, 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.

The men, who have since left the Army, admit they both had sex with Cpl Ellement when they were stationed in Germany but claim she consented to what happened.

Bulford Court Martial Centre in Wiltshire heard that Cpl Ellement, from Bournemouth, Dorset, died two years after alleging that she had been raped.

A panel of civil servants and senior military officers heard how Cpl Ellement, Fulton and Jones had been drinking in the mess with two colleagues before the incident.

Lance Corporal Arron Harris, then serving in the Royal Military Police, described how the three soldiers "became closer" as they drank during the evening of November 19.

"I can remember I heard clearly the conversation turned more towards sex between them," Mr Harris, who has since left the Army, said.

"While Anne-Marie was hesitant she wasn't hesitant in the actual act, she was concerned how she might look in the unit.

"A threesome was being discussed between the three of them. She would but she was concerned about how she would look to the unit."

Mr Harris said he overheard Fulton tell her: "They won't. No one is going to say anything. Jez won't and neither will those two."

He told the panel the conversation between Cpl Ellement, Fulton and Jones was "good natured" and he did not have any concerns.

"It was a serious discussion about whether or not the three of them would engage in a threesome," Mr Harris said.

Mr Harris, who now serves with the Reserves, said he witnessed Fulton and Cpl Ellement kissing and touching each other.

He then saw Cpl Ellement sitting on Jones' lap while he touched her thighs and legs, the court heard.

"She was making no movement to stop it at all," he said.

Mr Harris claimed the situation and Cpl Ellement's behaviour suggested she "wanted to have a threesome".

Corporal Joseph Merron, the other colleague in the mess, said he overheard Fulton, Jones and Cpl Ellement talking about a threesome.

"The three of them were drinking beers and one said 'I think we should have a threesome'," Cpl Merron said.

"It took it as a joke at that point. Later on I heard the threesome conversation happen again.

"Between the first time there had been flirting going on between Mr Fulton and Miss Ellement.

"When I heard the threesome conversation then I thought it might lead to something."

Cpl Ellement, dressed in a brown cardigan and jeans, went to the mess at about 10pm on November 19 2009 after drinking two bottles of beer in her quarters.

Fulton - the boyfriend of Cpl Ellement's friend Sarah Noteyoung - and Jones were at the bar along with Mr Harris and Cpl Merron, having recently finished a shift.

Cpl Ellement later recounted drinking a total of eight alcoholic drinks there, including shots and a Red Bull cocktail with vodka.

At 12.30am, she headed to Jones' room with Fulton, where she claimed he raped her and Jones assaulted her.

Colleague Cpl Charlene Pritchard found Cpl Ellement naked apart from a cardigan, crying and with muddy feet outside her accommodation at 1.37am.

In a lengthy video interview Cpl Ellement, then aged 28, said she told Fulton and Jones she found the idea of a threesome "disgusting" and would never have one.

She insisted she would not have consented to sex with either of the men, especially Fulton as he had a girlfriend who was in England at the time.

"I know that it's a really serious thing and the outcome affects what happens in their lives and careers," she said.

"I don't want to get someone accused of something they hadn't done but I know that I didn't want to have sex.

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

"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."

The court has not been told the circumstances of Cpl Ellement's death in 2011 - two years after the alleged incident.

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, each deny two charges of rape.

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

Miss Noteyoung, who has since left the Army, told the court she received a message from Fulton apologising at 1.33am - shortly after the alleged rape.

The message read: "All I can say is I honestly didn't do anything wrong and I'm sorry, I'm going to turn my phone off night! X"

The then Corporal Noteyoung, who was in England attending the funeral of a colleague who died in action, replied: "R u ok? X" at 11.09am.

At 8.45pm she texted him: "Tom. I dunt care what ppl are saying or what they think. I want to stay with you. Ive never been so devastated in my life. Thinkin bout you. This funerals so hard without u here. Cu 2Moz 7 x".

The court heard the timings given from Cpl Noteyoung's phone for when she sent or received messages may be an hour ahead of in Germany due to the time difference.

Miss Noteyoung told the court she was "dating" Fulton at the time of the alleged rape but their relationship became more serious after it.

Corporal Charlene Pritchard, of the Royal Military Police, described how she found an almost naked Cpl Ellement outside her accomodation block at 1.37am on November 20.

"She was pretty drunk to be fair," Cpl Pritchard said. "She was hysterical, she was all over the place. She was a mess.

"She was very drunk and while she was obviously crying she was very frustrated with herself with not being able to get into her room.

"She told me that Tom had tried to sleep with her."

Cpl Ellement did not have her clothing - except for a cardigan - handbag or keys when she was found by Cpl Pritchard.

Following her allegations, Cpl Ellement went away to Herford with Cpl Pritchard and they discussed the incident.

Cpl Pritchard said she initially believed Cpl Ellement's account but her opinion changed through the week they spent together.

"Initially she only mentioned she had sex with one of them and then, it was later that day or the following morning, that she said she had sex with both of them," Cpl Pritchard said.

"I then heard she would have consented to one of them but she would never have consented to sleeping with another one.

"I spent a lot of time with her and it just seemed to change so often. It just changed on a daily basis."

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.