Warship security chief 'raped guest after drinks party in mess'

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The Independent Online
A MAN in charge of security on a Royal Navy warship raped a young female guest after a party in the chief petty officer's mess, a jury was told yesterday.

Barry Chamberlain, Master at Arms on HMS Marlborough when the vessel visited London last year, pushed the 20-year-old Ministry of Defence clerk into his cabin after giving her a tour of the ship, it was alleged at Plymouth Crown Court.

Mr Chamberlain, 41, of Sawtry, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, denies rape and also pleads not guilty to attempting to rape the woman and indecently assaulting her on 10 March last year.

Jeremy Donne, for the prosecution, said that the defendant, who was in the Naval Police, contacted former colleagues at the Ministry of Defence and suggested that they call on him him for drinks when his ship visited London. 'The visitors arrived shortly after 5pm, and were taken to the chief petty officer's mess where a number of senior Royal Navy ratings were drinking, including the defendant,' Mr Donne said. By the time the woman left she had drunk no more than a pint of lager.

She accepted Mr Chamberlain's offer of a tour of the ship, which ended at the door of his cabin. 'It is there the defendant pulled her in and over a period of some time subjected her to a humiliating and distressing assault,' he said.

Her ordeal ended when the telephone rang and Mr Chamberlain told her to get dressed, Mr Donne said. It was then about 9.30pm - an hour and 10 minutes after she had entered the cabin.

The woman, who was a virgin, was ashamed and wanted to run away. At no stage had she consented to have sex, perform oral sex or let him touch her and had done nothing to make him think so, Mr Donne added.

Back in the mess a friend noticed she looked strained, flushed and unhappy and she later complained to the friend of Mr Chamberlain's conduct.

Mr Donne said that Mr Chamberlain admitted to police that he had sex with her, but claimed that it was with her consent.

The case continues.

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