Army Sergeant accused of sexually assaulting colleague's girlfriend

Army Sergeant sexually assaulted colleague’s girlfriend as the couple slept beside each other after drunken night out, court martial hears

  • Sergeant Deswarao Gunputh is accused of groping the young woman in her bed
  • He is alleged to have sexually assaulted her as she slept alongside her boyfriend
  • Sgt Gunputh denies assaulting the woman, insisting she was ‘flirting’ with him
  • A British Army Sergeant sexually assaulted his colleague’s girlfriend as the couple slept in a bed together, a court martial has heard.

    Sergeant Deswarao Gunputh is accused of groping the young woman from the end of her and her soldier boyfriend’s bed following a drunken night out.

    The woman, a civilian in her early 20s, told a court martial she was ‘shocked’ as she woke up at 2am and felt someone molesting her but saw her boyfriend asleep next to her.

    She also said she felt her alleged attacker’s ‘stiff’ hair which had ‘too much product’ as he crouched down at the end of the bed.

    Lieutenant Colonel Dave Cotton, prosecuting, said it was Sgt Gunputh’s ‘spiky’ hair that she felt and that his DNA was found on the woman.

    Sgt Gunputh denies assaulting the woman, insisting she was ‘flirting’ with him on the night out and claiming that his DNA was transferred to her as they ‘held hands’.

    Sgt Gunputh, of 1 Regiment Army Air Corps, denies sexual assault by penetration following the alleged incident at Wattisham Airfield, Suffolk.

    Bulford Military Court, Wilts, heard Sgt Gunputh met his colleague and his girlfriend at an onsite bar at the airfield for an Army night out.

    Sgt Gunputh denies assaulting the woman, insisting she was 'flirting' with him earlier on

    Sgt Gunputh denies assaulting the woman, insisting she was ‘flirting’ with him earlier on 

    They drank tequila shots before heading to Ipswich, Suffolk, for drinks and later got an Uber back to the base – with the ‘very intoxicated’ woman falling asleep in the car next to her boyfriend.

    She told the court: ‘We got an Uber back at half past midnight. We had been out for around four hours.

    ‘Me and [my boyfriend] went back to his block… I don’t remember going to bed because I had been drinking.

    ‘I was woken up by the feeling of someone touching me. It was uncomfortable, strange and worrying… I was not fully awake and I woke up in a haze.

    ‘I realised [my boyfriend] was next to me, so it must have been a third person in the room. I had my hand out searching and I touched their hair.

    ‘[The hair felt] like when someone uses too much product… it was almost stiff, like hay. [The room] was really dark – I opened my eyes but couldn’t see anything.

    Bulford Military Court where the court martial into the alleged sexual assault is being heard

    Bulford Military Court where the court martial into the alleged sexual assault is being heard

    ‘I was shocked because I knew it couldn’t be [my boyfriend] and there shouldn’t have been anyone else in the room.

    ‘They jumped back and left the room and I heard a door shut. After the person left I was really confused.

    ‘I was trying to wake [my boyfriend] up to talk to me and help – but he was in a deep sleep.’

    The victim told the court she then realised her ‘pants were only on one leg’, and went to check the corridor before locking the door to the room.

    ‘I went into the bathroom and all I remember is sitting on the floor and crying,’ she said.

    ‘I didn’t want anybody to know. Me and [my boyfriend] were meant to be moving there and I didn’t want people to treat me differently.

    ‘I didn’t want people to think I was making it all up… I didn’t want my family to know. I still haven’t told my family.’

    Her boyfriend reported the alleged sexual assault the following morning.

    Prosecutor Lt Col Cotton said: ‘[The victim] paid Sgt Gunputh no more attention [on the night out] than you would expect – she was there with her boyfriend.

    ‘Sgt Gunputh says she was flirting with him, including physical contact. Forensics show a DNA profile matching Sgt Gunputh was present.

    ‘He chose to believe that [the victim] fancied him. She didn’t get a good look at [the person in the room, but] it was Sgt Gunputh’s spiky hair she felt.’

    The trial, which is expected to last a week, continues.

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