Lesbian soldier accuses British Army of trying to silence her over sex case

September 23rd, 2008 - 2:11 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sep 23 (ANI): A lesbian soldier has claimed that senior British Army officers ordered her to keep quiet about being pestered for sex by a male sergeant at Army stables.

Kerry Fletcher, a former lance bombardier in the Royal Artillery, is seeking 400,000 pounds in compensation from the Ministry of Defence over her experiences, The Telegraph reported.

An employment tribunal in Leeds has already found that she was the victim of direct sexual discrimination and harassment.

Fletcher, 32, described the sergeant, who cannot be identified until completion of the remedy hearing in Leeds, as a known womaniser.

She said he asked her to join in a threesome with another woman and boasted in a text message: Look, I might be able to convert you. You dont know what you are missing.

Fletcher also claimed that the sergeant and other male colleagues tried to destroy her career because she spurned his advances, and that she was signed off sick with stress as a result.

The sergeant insisted he had legitimately enforced discipline at the Royal Artillery stables in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, after Fletcher had been regularly late for work and insubordinate.

Fletcher told the resumed hearing: I went to those stables and did a good job. I was having quite a bad time with a senior officer. It was not so much the Army, but it was that one person who was making my life a misery. I was depressed and having panic attacks.

I was very disappointed because I was going through a rough time with this guy. I told my regiment and I was basically told to keep quiet. I was having a hard time and felt I was losing my career, she said.

Fletcher is now a member of the Territorial Army in Redditch, Worcs, and is seeking 381,000 pounds in lost earnings plus 25,000 pounds for injury to her feelings.

Despite MoDs denials of any wrongdoing, the tribunal panel found in Fletchers favour on the basis of her powerful evidence.

It found that the stress of coping with persistent and trivial disciplinary allegations that were trumped up into formal charges meant she was unable to continue working. (ANI)

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