British soldier guilty of raping and sexually abusing nine-year-old girl in Austria

The offence was committed in Austria

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The Independent Online

A British soldier has been sentenced to nine years in prison for raping and sexually abusing a six-year-old girl.

The 30-year-old, who has not been named, committed the offence at a British army adventure camp in the Stubaital Alipine valley in the Austrian province of Tyrol, the Reuters news agency reports.

The man entered the girl’s unlocked family home while drunk in the early hours of the morning, a spokesperson for the provincial court at Innsbruck said.

He was arrested at the scene in the town of Neustift and said he did not remember what had happened. Reports at the time described him as being apprehended “half-naked”.

The soldier is planning to appeal the verdict, according to lawyers, whose views were recounted by a spokesperson for the court.

If the appeal is lost the man can ask to serve his sentence in Britain.

The incident was first reported in the British press in December 2014. The man is thought to be serving in the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery of the British Army.

The MoD confirmed the man’s conviction and sentence but did not comment further.

Additional reporting by agencies