BULLYING, work related despair, the “lingering” effect of an alleged rape, and the breakdown of a relationship combined to cause a Bulford-based Royal Military Police officer to take her own life, a coroner has ruled.
Cpl Anne-Marie Ellement, 30, was found hanged at Kiwi Barracks in October 2011. And inquest held at Salisbury Coroners Court, which began on February 3, concluded today with coroner Nicholas Rheinberg recording a narrative verdict.
Mr Rheinberg said although Cpl Ellement received “high quality” care after the alleged rape in Germany in November 2009, the transfer of information by the army when she moved to Bulford in March 2011 was “unforgivably bad”.
He said he would be recommending to the Ministry of Defence that it reviews its Suicide Vulnerability Risk Assessment procedures and ensures personnel are given refresher training.
The hearing also heard working practices in the Royal Military Police have been changed following, and in response to, Cpl Ellement’s death. The inquest is the second to be held after Cpl Ellement’s family won a judicial review to hear all the evidence.
Sharon Hardy, Cpl Ellement’s sister, said in a statement following the inquest: “The family are delighted with this verdict we have today; the coroner has confirmed what we always have known – that Anne-Marie was treated appallingly and let down by the army.
“She was never able to recover from the allegation of rape she made in Germany. She then suffered bullying by the army and was subjected to unacceptable work practices.
“Victims of sexual abuse in the army need proper support, which the coroner has recognised, and we are delighted with his recommendations.”
To see a video of the family's statement, visit facebook.com/salisburyjournal.