• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Female Bicester soldier cleared of punching and racially abusing male colleague

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 8, 2022

A female soldier accused of punching and racially abusing a male colleague at a barracks near Bicester was cleared by a court martial yesterday.

Private Jemma Darker had been accused of hitting Private Jameel Mills and using a vile racial slur after he cleaned up her vomit.

But the 24 year old was found innocent after a two day trial held at Tidworth Barracks, Wiltshire.

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Pte Darker told the court that she had 'felt a slap across her face' and had been worried because she thought she was going to get hit again.

She also denied that any racial slur had ever 'come out of her mouth.'

The court heard that the two soldiers had been drinking with another colleague – Pte Samuel Maye – in December 2021 before a party at St David's Barracks near Bicester, Oxfordshire.

The boozy celebration was taking place the day before many of the soldiers would be going on leave for Christmas, the court was told.

Pte Darker had been talking about going on dates with Pte Maye who was trying to 'hit her up', the court heard.

The pair had been 'doing Jägerbombs' together at the block party before she projectile vomited and left a 'mountain of sick' in his bed, the court was told.

Pte Darker had known Pte Maye since their phase two training eight months before, but had never met Mills, the court martial heard.

Prosecuting, Major James Eveleigh said: "[The defendant] attended a block party in her accommodation where she came across Pte Maye who had been out drinking.

"They went back to his room and she was to stay the night in his room.

"She was ill and was projectile vomiting across the room."

Pte Mills attended his friend Pte Maye's room to help clean up the sick, the court was told.

Pte Darker had been accused of punching Pte Mills and making the offensive slurwhen she woke up to find him in the room.

Defending, Cathryn Sutcliffe said: "[Pte Darker] awoke to a slap across the face.

"She woke to see Mills standing over her.

"She assumed it was Mills who had hit her.

"Did Mills touch her on the face slightly harder than he remembers? Maybe.

"He was 15 pints in.

"We know that Pte Maye wanted her out of his room.

"There was no evidence of any injury. No bruise and no red mark [to Mills' face]."

Pte Darker was cleared of racially aggravated battery.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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