Bad news in the News

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Shakey, Feb 5, 2007.

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  1. Well it's in the public domain now so here's the dit straight from the BBC:

    PO on rape charge - BBC news

    Navy petty officer in rape trial

    A Royal Navy petty officer is to face a trial accused of raping a female sailor while on board a warship - thought to be the first case of its kind.
    Chief Petty Officer Phillip Coates did not attend a preliminary hearing at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth, Hants, on Monday.

    The medical assistant is charged with rape aboard a Royal Navy ship while in the Mediterranean in March last year.

    It is said to be the first alleged rape of a female sailor, excluding submarines, since women went to sea.

    The case, which is likely to involve a visit of the ship involved, has been adjourned for the trial in March.

    And from The Times

    Chief Petty Officer Phillip Coates, a medical assistant, is due to appear at a court martial hearing in Portsmouth next month. It is believed to be the first alleged rape of a woman sailor in a Navy warship since women were allowed to go to sea in the early 1990s.

    The accused, a non-commissioned officer, is listed as a local acting chief petty officer, which means that he had not been confirmed in the post of chief petty officer.

    The rank is, however, a senior position in a warship, equivalent to staff sergeant in the Army.

    The case, which will be heard at the end of next month at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth, the shore-based establishment where all Navy courts martial are held, has already led to the imposition of severe reporting restrictions because of concerns that the identity of the alleged victim may be revealed.

    Publication of the details of the ship has been banned on the orders of Judge Jeff Blackett, the Judge Advocate-General who is in overall charge of courts martial.

    Normally about 10 per cent of a warship’s crew are women, although some vessels have much smaller female contingents. Ever since the decision in 1990 to allow women to serve on warships at sea, commanding officers have followed a strict “no touching†rule between men and women. The women have separate quarters and washing facilities.

    At an unpublicised hearing in Portsmouth on December 19, Judge Blackett made an interim order under Section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, listing a number of reporting restrictions to ensure the anonymity of the woman allegedly raped.

    “The accused is charged with a serious sexual offence. Therefore, this order prohibits the publication of any material which will lead or may lead to the identification of the complainant,†he said.

    The list of restrictions includes the alleged victim’s name, rank and service number, her specialisation within the Royal Navy, her service or home address and the name and type of vessel in which the alleged offence took place. The judge also declared a ban on identifying the location within the ship where the offence was alleged to have occurred.

    Since the scrapping of all-male crews — except on board submarines, where women are still barred — there have been a number of highly publicised cases of sexual indiscretions.

    Physical relations between the sexes are prohibited while a warship is at sea, but relationships may be carried out ashore. The Navy’s code of conduct frowns on relations between senior and junior personnel.

    The presence of women on board warships has been hailed as a successful change of policy by senior navy officers.

    It has largely been accepted by the male crews, although there were some misgivings. There were also initial concerns among the wives of officers and other ranks.

    The separate Women’s Royal Naval Service was axed in 1993 and Wrens were integrated into the Royal Navy.
  2. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    The last time this was discussed on RR, a stray comment of the type the COs (that's this site's COs) fear made its way into the forum. The thread was edited and locked by PTP. Those of you who think RR is a free for all, prepare to be continually disappointed. That it is in the papers matters not.

    Read the forum moderation policy regarding Service Personnel in Court at the top of Current Affairs. It is endorsed (indeed required) by the COs and is applied across the boards at RR and ARRSE, even Lil's.

    Some posts deleted (even the appropriate one by RC), thread locked.
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