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Army corporal from Avoch insists contact with female colleague at Inverness reserve centre was consensual

By Ali Morrison

Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

Inverness Sheriff Court has been hearing details of an alleged sexual assault at an army training centre

Andrew Lingard (48) of Rosehaugh Crescent, Avoch, is accused of seizing a woman by the body, pursuing her through the building at the Army Reserve Training Centre in Gordonville Road, Inverness and following her into a toilet cubicle before pushing her on to a bed and trying to remove her clothing.

The 49-year-old woman told the jury trial at Inverness Sheriff Court that she had been drinking in a bar area at the centre before her ordeal began when she was left alone with Lingard on June 19, 2016.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge and lodged a special defence that any contact was consensual.

The woman spoke to officers about what she said happened and Captain Douglas Smith (62), retired ,who was in charge of administration at the centre and interviewed both parties after the alleged incident, told the court their statements were passed up the chain of command.

In a joint minute agreed by both parties one witness, Shaun Green, who was sleeping in the officers mess said he woke about 2.30am and saw them.

"It appeared to me Corporal Lingard was assisting (the woman) who appeared to be stumbling about," he said.

Lingard in his statement which was read in court said they were drinking and "having a wee heart to heart".

"One thing led to another and we started kissing and heavy petting," he said.

He said they ended up back in her room and fell asleep on a camp bed before waking up and kissing again.

"I think I was a bit over-zealous," he said.

He said that she had felt sick and went to the toiletand he went to see if she was OK. He said she was slumped on the floor and sick on the toilet.

He leaned over and opened the door to help her and walked her back to her room

"At no point did we have intercourse or did I do anything that she complained about. At no point did she indicate she was unhappy or angry about what was happening," he said.

Related article: Corporal denies sexually assaulting woman at army reserve centre

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