A coroner has criticised the Army after ruling that a vulnerable soldier had been driven to kill herself by bullying colleagues and the ‘lingering effects’ of an alleged rape.
Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement hanged herself two years after telling her superiors that she had been raped by two fellow soldiers during a drunken night out in Germany.
But she felt ‘betrayed’ when the Army dropped its investigation into the incident, the three-week inquest in Salisbury heard. She was subsequently ruthlessly tormented over the incident by Royal Military Police colleagues.
Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg ruled in a narrative verdict that the bullying had contributed to her death. A previous hearing that was not told of the rape allegation had recorded a suicide verdict.
Our thoughts are as follows:
– We are pleased that the circumstances surrounding her death have been recognised in the inquest, indicating the need for greater support for victims in the military – something we are campaigning for.
– We are also pleased that the Coroner is recommending that the MoD review its care for vulnerable soldiers – it is about time too – we are seeing too many similar incidents where a lack of support in the military leads vulnerable soldiers to take their own lives.
– It is however a disgrace that the family had to fight and appeal for a second inquest.
In conclusion, we hope the family now have closure on the situation, knowing there has been recognition of the bullying and lack of care to Corporal Ellement led to her death and the various failings have not just been brushed under the carpet.