Navy man on drink charges: Navy officer 'groped wife of rating at karaoke night'

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

THE HEAD of discipline at a Royal Navy base brushed the back of his hand five times against the breast of a rating's wife whom he met at a karaoke social evening, a court martial was told yesterday.

Lieutenant John Winchester, 44, the Provost Marshal at Portland, Dorset, apologised, but she thought he had done it deliberately.

They had been discussing the birth of her child and Lt Winchester asked whether her nipples were sore from breast-feeding, the court at RNAS Yeovilton was told.

Lt Winchester, who joined the Royal Navy in 1965, pleaded guilty to being drunk on that occasion in the Provost mess, Portland, in July 1992, but not guilty to four other charges of being drunk. He also admitted three offences of authorising a personal journey in naval transport, but pleaded not guilty to neglect of duty by failing to bring to justice a Wren suspected of assault.

The court was told that Lt Winchester met Lisa Hill, the wife of Leading Regulator Mark Hill, for the first time at the karaoke evening and asked her whether she wanted him to 'come and look after her', if her husband were drafted to sea.

On another occasion, it was alleged, Lt Winchester staggered into the path of a MoD police van after drinking at a pub in Portland. And after attending the wardroom Christmas lunch last year, he sprayed the master at arms with 'silly string'.

The hearing continues today.