Married naval officer, 37, is stood down from command of his ship

EXCLUSIVE: Married senior naval officer, 37, is stood down from command of his ship over claims he was having an ‘unauthorised sexual relationship’ with a junior female colleague

  • Lieutenant Commander Ben Costley-White has been temporarily stood down
  •  He is alleged to have had unauthorised relationship with a crew member
  • Stood down from command of HMS Tyne while the claims are investigated
  • It is unclear what the basis for the claims are and whether they can be substantiated
  • A senior naval officer has been relieved of command of his ship over allegations he was having an unauthorised relationship with a junior female crew member.

    Lieutenant Commander Ben Costley-White has been temporarily stood down from command of HMS Tyne based in Portsmouth while the claims are investigated.

    The bearded 37-year-old is married to veterinary cardiologist Julia Costley-White and the couple had been living together in the New Forest enjoying hobbies like yachting.

    It is unclear what the basis is for the claims against Lt Cdr Costley-White and the female crew member or whether the claims can be substantiated, but it’s understood if proven would constitute a breach of strict Navy rules.

    A Royal Navy Spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We are aware of these allegations which are being investigated. It would be inappropriate to comment further.’

    Mrs Costley-White, 38, refused to discuss the matter. 

    Lieutenant Commander Ben Costley-White has been temporarily stood down from command of HMS Tyne based in Portsmouth over allegations he was having an unauthorised relationship with a crew member

    Lieutenant Commander Ben Costley-White has been temporarily stood down from command of HMS Tyne based in Portsmouth over allegations he was having an unauthorised relationship with a crew member

    The senior naval officer is married to veterinary cardiologist Julia Costley-White (pictured together)

    The senior naval officer is married to veterinary cardiologist Julia Costley-White (pictured together)

    Speaking outside her £550,000 townhouse she said: ‘I don’t have any comment.’ 

    There was no sign of her husband at the three-bedroom, red brick Victorian property in the affluent yachting town this morning. 

    A St George’s Cross flag and Remembrance poppy were placed in the window of the home on the edge of Hampshire’s New Forest. 

    When contacted by phone later Lt Cdr Costley-White also refused to discuss his situation, saying: ‘I don’t have a comment at this time.’

    Lt Cdr Costley-White grew up in London and attended the prestigious £20,000-a-year City of London School on a scholarship based on his choral singing abilities.

    He then studied Neuroscience at the University of Bristol where it’s believed he first met his wife Julia who also studied there.

    Lt Cdr Costley-White worked briefly as a biology and ICT teacher during which time he developed in interest in his school’s Cadet Corps which eventually led to him joining the Royal Navy 11 years ago.

    He went onto serve on vessels in UK waters, the Atlantic and the Middle East as he worked his way up the ranks.

    He was appointed to command of HMS Tyne, based in Portsmouth, close to his home with Julia in Lymington, last April.

    The senior naval officer's wife Julia Costley-White (pictured) refused to discuss the matter

    The senior naval officer’s wife Julia Costley-White (pictured) refused to discuss the matter

    The couple, who don’t have children, married in 2015 and he wore a Naval uniform during the ceremony.

    His Naval biography reads: ‘Ben lives in Lymington in the New Forest with his wife Julia, a veterinary cardiologist. 

    ‘They have neither children nor pets but a 40+ year-old wooden sailing dinghy keeps them busy most of the year with either cruising or maintenance. A keen gardener and classical singer, any remaining free time is spent learning languages.’

    HMS Tyne is a river-class offshore patrol vessel usually deployed protecting UK fisheries with sister vessels named after UK rivers the Mersey and Severn. All three were commissioned in 2003.

    The ship’s name is an historic one, it being the sixth incarnation. Away from fisheries she has previously twice been used to escort menacing Russian vessels away from British waters. 

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