Rape claim soldier Anne-Marie Ellement "devastated" over decision not to prosecute soldiers, sister tells inquest (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Cpl Anne-Marie Ellement inquest: she was "devastated" over decision not to prosecute soldiers after rape claim, sister tells inquest
Updated 4:56pm Monday 3rd February 2014 in News
A ROYAL Military Police officer from Bournemouth was found hanging in her barracks two years after alleging she had been raped by two soldiers, an inquest heard today.
Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement, 30, was found at Bulford Barracks near Salisbury on October 9 2011.
Cpl Ellement's sister, Sharon Hardy, told the inquest in Salisbury that she 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.
Mrs Hardy, 44, told the inquest that her sister rang her from Germany to tell her of the allegation.
"She was absolutely traumatised,'' Mrs Hardy, a married mother of four from Christchurch, said.
Cpl Ellement returned to the UK on compassionate leave and spent Christmas with her sister and her family.
"She was devastated. She looked worn-out and she had lost weight - she looked awful,'' Mrs Hardy said.
"She kept a lot back because I think she was embarrassed about what happened. She was dreading going back to Germany.
"Anne-Marie was confident those soldiers would be charged and I was not going to tell a victim they may not be charged.
"She was really frightened about going back to Germany because she didn't know what to expect.''
Mrs Hardy said one female soldier 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 of rape.
"She told me that the girls had started to turn on her. She lost the support network that she thought she had when she was sent on compassionate leave,'' Mrs Hardy said.
"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.''
Mrs Hardy said her sister was "absolutely devastated'' at learning the two servicemen , who are known only as Soldier A and Soldier B at the inquest, would not be charged.
"Anne-Marie was absolutely devastated. She could not believe it,'' she said.
"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 to me 'They got away with it. They are trying to uphold the law but they have got away with it'.
"She was so strong and she believed what they did was wrong. She was not happy and she wanted justice.''
An inquest in March 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 today and is expected to last at least two weeks.