Rape-claim corporal found hanged two years after she accused two soldiers, inquest told

Sister said Anne-Marie Ellement had been devastated when military investigators decided not to prosectute the men

A Royal Military Police officer was found hanging in her barracks two years after alleging she had been raped by two soldiers, an inquest heard.

Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement, 30, was found at Bulford Barracks near Salisbury, in Wiltshire, on 9 October 2011. An inquest in 2012 recorded a conclusion that Cpl Ellement, originally from Bournemouth, took her own life – but last August the High Court ordered a fresh hearing, which began yesterday.

Cpl Ellement’s sister, Sharon Hardy, told the inquest in Salisbury that her sister had been left “absolutely devastated” by the decision by military investigators not to prosecute the two soldiers who she claimed had raped her in November 2009, while she was posted in Germany.

Ms Hardy, 44, said one female soldier had supplied a statement to investigators supporting Cpl Ellement’s allegations, but changed it after befriending the girlfriend of one of the soldiers she was accusing. “She told me that the girls had started to turn on her,” she said.

“She lost the support network that she thought she had when she was sent on compassionate leave [after making the allegations]. The girls were running up and down the corridor screaming ‘there’s the girl that cried rape’, banging on her door. All that I could do was try and reassure her that once they were charged everything would be OK.”

Ms Hardy said her sister “could not believe it” when she discovered that the two servicemen , known only as Soldier A and Soldier B at the inquest, would not be charged. “She was 110 per cent certain what had happened to her and her being in the Royal Military Police and the fact they were not taking her allegations seriously,” she said. “She said to me ‘justice is shit. They got away with it’. She was so strong and she believed what they did was wrong. She was not happy and she wanted justice.”

Ms Hardy also said her sister complained about being overworked, doing between 80 and 90 hours a week and being called in on her days off. “She said she was sick of it, that she was tired and wanted out,” she said. “I put that down to the unit’s large volume of workload.”

Ms Hardy also spoke of an incident at a rugby match between the Army and Navy at Twickenham in April 2011, at which Cpl Ellement alleged another soldier said to her in front of 100 personnel: “There’s the girl that cried rape.” Ms Hardy said: “Anne-Marie was absolutely mortified because, as she said, none of the soldiers in her unit knew about this.”

Also giving evidence at the inquest was Corporal Derek Bennetts, who said that Cpl Ellement had complained to him of being “picked upon” by a Staff-Sgt. He also claimed that two senior NCOs would shout at her. “Sometimes it seemed they got a kick out of it,” he said. “That’s the word I would use – an awful thing to say. They seemed to enjoy bollocking her.” Cpl Bennetts also said that “welfare was not a priority” for the company. “Certainly not at that time. Nothing seemed to happen,” he said.

Capt Shane Doherty, who at the time of Cpl Ellement’s death was a company Sgt-Maj, said he only found out about the rape allegations after her death. He said he found claims that members of the RMP were working 80 or 90 hours a week “absolutely staggering and doubtful”. The inquest continues.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Leeds

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Leeds This i...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Bristol

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power