Wren survives 'suicide attempt'

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The Independent Online
A Royal Navy Wren was on a life-support machine in a French hospital last night after suffering a gunshot wound in an apparent suicide attempt on board her warship.

Sub-Lieutenant Julia Simcock, 22, had recently begun her first posting aboard one of the Navy's smallest warships. A Navy spokesman described her condition as stable. Her family was at her bedside in the university hospital in Brest, Brittany.

The incident happened on the same day as a former Wren, herself driven to attempt suicide after years of sexual harassment in the Navy, was awarded more than pounds 65,000 damages by an industrial tribunal in Manchester.

The shooting incident will be an embarrassment to the Navy, which has worked hard to integrate Wrens aboard male-dominated warships. However, Navy sources said there was nothing to suggest Sub Lt Simcock had suffered sexual harassment. An official Board of Inquiry investigation will be launched.