MoD settles Wren sex case

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The Independent Online
A FORMER WREN who won a sexual harassment case against a Royal Navy officer nicknamed "Commander Underpants" has settled her case against the MoD, it emerged yesterday.

Nicola Rushton, 20, was expected to attend a further hearing in Exeter, Devon, today for the level of compensation to be decided. But the tribunal office said the case had been settled. No further details were available.

Miss Rushton, from Plymouth, Devon, claimed she was driven out of the Navy by the behaviour of Lieutenant Commander David Bellingham aboard HMS Coventry.

The 6ft 4ins officer - who wore "Jingle Bells" musical underpants - chased her round the quarter deck wearing a Santa Claus hat, she claimed, and subjected her to a number of incidents of sexual harassment.

Lt Cdr Bellingham, 32, now serving with HMS Monmouth, was fined pounds 2,000, severely reprimanded and stripped of his seniority by a court martial.

Miss Rushton, now working as a car valet, said she had regained none of the four stone she lost as a result of her ordeal. She had signed on for 22 years but was dismissed after 20 months as being "temperamentally unsuitable".

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