A 6ft 6ins British Army soldier has been thrown out of the military for sexually assaulting a female comrade when he repeatedly tried to kiss her desp
A 6ft 6ins British Army soldier has been thrown out of the military for sexually assaulting a female comrade when he repeatedly tried to kiss her despite her pleas for him to stop.
Signaller Ryan Pell ‘overpowered’ his much shorter victim, subjecting her to a ‘never ending’ ordeal by putting her in a ‘bear hug’ and repeatedly trying to kiss her during a late night walk.
The 26-year-old also drunkenly pinned the 5ft 4ins woman against a fence, pushed her onto the floor and straddled her for ‘a bit of fun’.
After a trial at Bulford Military Court, Pell was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault.
Dismissing him from the Army, Britain’s only female military judge told the soldier, who worked as a Network Engineer at British Army, he only had himself to blame for ‘destroying his career’.
6ft 6ins Ryan Pell, 26, has been kicked out of the military after he was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault on a female comrade he subjected to a ‘never ending’ ordeal
Pell ‘overpowered’ his much shorter victim, put her in a ‘bear hug’ and repeatedly tried to kiss her during a late night walk
Assistant Judge Advocate General Jane England told Pell: ‘She was telling you to get off but you were saying it is a bit of fun. It was not fun.
‘When she went on that walk, she had no reason to fear you. You are much larger and stronger than her and you have the build to overpower her, which you did.
‘You did not want to take no for an answer.
‘It is always unfortunate when someone of your position does something to destroy their career, but the only person to blame for that is you.’
She dismissed Pell from the armed forces, handed him a 24 month suspended sentence and ordered him to pay his victim £1,000.
His then 17-year-old victim – who cannot be named for legal reasons – told the court that she has suffered sleeping problems since the incident and is now alarmed when a man raises his voice at her.
In a statement, she said: ‘After the incident…I would have trouble sleeping. When I would eventually get to sleep, it would be in the early hours.
‘In the weeks leading up to the [trial], I would not sleep at all.
‘Before the incident, a male raising his voice at me would have not bothered me but this has definitely changed since the incident.’
The victim also said she has recently suffered flashbacks of the incident.
During the trial the teenager told the court the attack happened after she had got into an argument with a fellow soldier and Pell suggested they ‘go for a walk and talk about it’.
She said he was ‘acting like he had had a few to drink’ and was ‘stumbling a little bit and had slurred speech’.
Dismissing him from the Army, Britain’s only female military judge, Jane England, told the soldier he only had himself to blame for ‘destroying his career’
The pair were walking together when Pell tried to kiss the teenager.
She said she told him to stop and he apologised. Then, the tall male soldier sat down on a picnic bench and asked her to sit next to him.
She told the court: ‘I told him I didn’t want to sit down. He told me I should just sit down next to him and then he grabbed me by my joggers to sit close to him.
‘I started to walk away. He came up behind me and grabbed me from behind.
‘He grabbed me, trapping both of my arms in a bear hug.’
The teenager said she ‘couldn’t get out’ and Pell repeatedly tried to kiss her neck.
After he eventually put her down, she lost balance so he pushed her to the floor – pinning her down and straddling her so she could not move.
She told the trial: ‘I got very angry with him. I shouted at him but he was not listening to me.
‘I was pretty scared. I had never been in that position before and I just did not know what was going to happen.’
Pell was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault following a trial at Bulford Military Court. His 17-year-old victim said she has suffered sleeping problems since the incident
The 17-year-old managed to escape his grip and began walking to her accommodation but he chased after her.
She added: ‘Sig Pell started running up behind me. He grabbed me and pinned me against the fence.
‘He grabbed me and put one hand on my lower back and one on the top of my back.
‘He said something along the lines of “now the fence is working in my favour”. His body was pressed against the back of mine.
‘He tried to move his hand around to rub the inside of my leg.’
The female soldier said he continued to try to kiss her, and she shouted at him to leave her alone.
She added: ‘I felt like I was unable to get out of the situation, I felt like it was never-ending.’
After Pell released her, he followed her back to her accommodation and sat on her bed.
She said: ‘I asked him to leave multiple times, eventually he did.’
The teenager told friends what had happened and reported it to her superiors.
She told the hearing: ‘Being 17, when something like this happened I didn’t really believe that anyone would tell me if I told them.’
Captain Camilla Gane, prosecuting, told the court martial: ‘[Signaller Pell] knew she was vulnerable in that moment.
‘[She] said no and that should have been the end of it. Instead he tried again and he did not take no for an answer.
‘At no point did [she] give any sort of consent.’
James Ross, defending, said Pell was the ‘author of his own misfortune’ and had it not been for that one night, he would have ‘contributed a great deal to the armed forces’.
Judge England told the soldier: ‘You have shown no remorse or acceptance of responsibility for your behaviour.’