Royal Navy sailor is cleared of sexually assaulting US Navy comrade
Royal Navy sailor is cleared of drunkenly sexually assaulting US Navy comrade after downing beers and margaritas on remote island Diego Garcia
- Leading Seaman Paul Morby, 29, accused of sexually assaulting US Navy sailor
- She said he sexually assaulted her before telling her ‘calm down it’s just a penis’
- However, LH Morby has been found not guilty of both charges of sexual assault
A Royal Navy sailor today walked free from court after he was cleared of drunkenly sexually assaulting a US Navy sailor in her bed while they were stationed together on a remote island.
A court martial had heard Leading Seaman Paul Morby, 29, went to her room drunk and took off his shorts while they were both based on Diego Garcia, the British Indian Ocean Territory.
The woman claimed LH Morby kept putting his hand down ‘the back of my pants, my underwear and my jeans’. She said he told her to ‘calm down’ because ‘it’s just a penis’ before sexually assaulting her further which left her feeling ‘tense’ and ‘numb’, the panel was told.
But LH Morby, who denied the charges, told the hearing they had just ‘spooned’ while dressed which led to them getting ‘frisky’.
LH Paul Morby, who served on HMS Vigilant submarine, said they had been kissing on her bed and after he touched her leg, she stormed off to the bathroom leaving him thinking he had taken things ‘too fast’.
LH Morby, who joined the Navy in 2014, has now been found not guilty of both charges of sexual assault after a board deliberated for five hours.
Leading Seaman Paul Morby, 29, was cleared of drunkenly sexually assaulting a US Navy sailor in her bed
He went to her room drunk and took off his shorts while they were both based on Diego Garcia, the British Indian Ocean Territory
During the trial, Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, heard the woman had invited him over in the afternoon after they met at a bar on the island days before, but he did not turn up until 9.30pm.
The court was told he drank three beers and two strawberry flavoured margarita cocktails, but he denied being drunk.
William Peters, prosecuting, said: ‘They had known each other for a day or two. There had been sexualised flirting and they had exchanged contact details.’
LH Morby told the court that before going to her room he sent her a jokey text saying: ‘You don’t have to do anything you don’t want, just using you for spoonage.’
The woman, in her 20s, told the court: ‘He went to the bed and kept asking me to come to the bed. I did eventually say yes and lay next to him on the bed.
‘He kept sticking his hand down the back of my pants, my underwear and my jeans. I didn’t say anything at the time.
‘He took off his shorts and I asked what he was doing and he looked at me and said ‘calm down, it’s just a penis’.
‘Shortly after that he undid the button on my jeans and I was telling him I didn’t want to have sex. He kept repeatedly asking me to take off my clothes.
‘And I kept repeatedly telling him no. Eventually I realised he wasn’t going to listen to me so I took off each article of clothing one by one.
‘We were laying there and he was sitting behind me and we were still kind of cuddling and we were talking about something.’
The woman told the court heard LH Morby then sexually assaulted her.
She added: ‘I felt incredibly anxious, very tense, very numb too.’
But LH Morby told the court the woman had been ‘quite flirtatious’ with him prior to this and after the alleged incident, she would actively seek him out.
He said: ‘I went to her room but I was not drunk. She joined me on the bed. We were spooning and she was pressing her bum into me. I got an erection, I was aroused.
‘She was not upset in any way shape or form. After a while, I started kissing her neck.’
LH Morby, who joined the Navy in 2014, has now been found not guilty of both charges of sexual assault after a board deliberated for five hours
LH Morby said that as they were kissing he lightly touched her hip which he believes prompted her to lock herself in the toilet for 15 minutes.
‘It was a completely unreasonable reaction. She seemed upset, angry and annoyed. From what I saw, it was a completely normal encounter.
‘She brushed me off to the side, maybe I took it too fast,’ he added.
LH Morby repeatedly denied putting his hands down her pants, digitally penetrating her and giving her oral sex.
He told the court he waited for her to come out of the bathroom as he wanted to understand what he had done to warrant an ‘unusual, unreasonable reaction’.
The court was told in a text exchange between the pair after the alleged incident, LH Morby described himself as ‘dickish’ and that he was ‘ashamed’ and ‘would not try that shit again’.
He told the hearing: ‘She never made clear what I had done wrong. I was not apologising for anything in particular. It was never made clear what I had done wrong.
‘I was overly harsh on myself. I was scared and didn’t know what she was capable of. I cannot understand why she’s made these allegations.
‘She made me feel like I’d done something wrong because of her reaction, I wanted to make amends.’
The woman later lodged a complaint and the matter was transferred to the Royal Navy police.
LH Morby has since left the Navy and is now training to become a radiographer.
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