Army instructor forced recruit, 18, to give oral sex by threatening to sack her

A married British Army instructor who raped a teenage recruit after telling her she would lose her job if she didn't do what he wanted has been jailed for eight and a half years.

Corporal Thomas Biggs "pressurised" the 18-year-old trainee into performing oral sex on him after getting her out of bed at 3am when he was drunk, a court martial heard.

The instructor's victim said she felt she had "no other option" after the 30-year-old kept saying to her "you'll lose your job" unless she complied.

And the attack was only interrupted when Cpl Biggs took a call from his wife which distracted him, the hearing was told.

His "degrading" behaviour may put off potential recruits joining the Army, he was told.

Sentencing Cpl Biggs, Judge Advocate Jane England said: “You owe all of the recruits a duty of care but instead you abused your position and helped yourself to what you wanted.

“(Your actions) may also deter those with the qualities armies are seeking from joining the armed forced thinking they may be subject to similar degrading behaviour by one of the instructors.”

Bulford Military Court, Wilts, heard that the rape took place at the Army Training Regiment in Winchester.

Wing Commander Michael Saunders, prosecuting, said: "[Cpl Biggs] had got [the recruit] who was 18 years of age out of bed in the early hours when he was drunk and ended up leading her to an isolated location and pressurised her in to performing oral sex.

"He told her she would lose her job. He was a Corporal instructor, she was a young recruit, he was drunk, she submitted to him but she did not consent."

The court heard that Cpl Biggs went to the recruit's room in the early hours and woke her up by calling her name.

A video of the victim's interview with military police was shown in court.

She told officers she could smell alcohol on the breath of Cpl Biggs after he woke her up and she followed him into the corridor.

She said: "I don't know what was going on, I thought I was receiving some bad news.

"He was really close to me… he just kept looking around and asking 'do you know why you are here?'

"He was saying 'I saw you in your grey tight pyjamas, you're trying to impress all the Corporals, trying to impress me'.

She explained that a girl from her room came out and went to the toilet, prompting Cpl Biggs to open a fire door and take the recruit through the door.

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She said: "I said 'this is stupid', I kept repeating you will lose your job, you will lose your job but he kept saying 'no you'll lose yours'."

The victim told police she complied because he told her she could lose her job.

She said: "That's the reason why I did it because at that point I was scared he would use that against me.

"If he didn't threaten me with the fact I could lose my job… that really got to me I just thought I'm not risking anything where I am now.

"He's a Corporal, he has power against me, I'm just a recruit, I have nothing.

"It would never have got to this point if he wasn't saying the things he was saying, bringing work in to it.

"It was like, this is what's going to happen to you if you don't just get on with it."

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Wg Cdr Saunders told the court martial that Cpl Biggs received a call from his wife which distracted him and the recruit managed to get away and returned to her room crying.

In a statement read to the court on the impact the rape had, the victim said: “I constantly think about what I could have done differently to have stopped Corporal Biggs from raping me but I know that I was so confused at the time.

“I know that I did the right thing by reporting this because Corporal Biggs’ actions and behaviour cannot be tolerated.”

Cpl Biggs, of the 3 Armoured Close Support Battalion of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, was found guilty of one charge of rape.

He was dismissed from the army and sentenced to 8 and a half years in prison.

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