Stealth fighter sailor jailed for five years for raping female colleague

A Royal Navy sailor has been jailed for five years after raping a female colleague as she slept.

The female sailor woke to find Leading Seaman Sam Avery having sex with her, his hands on her waist and her pants pulled down to her knees.

The woman, who cannot be named, had turned down two of his previous advances before falling asleep after agreeing to let LS Avery stay the night in her bed.

She said the attack ‘came out of nowhere’ as there was not even a friendly hug or kiss between the two and the only sexual contact between them was the advances she had rejected.

LS Avery, who worked refuelling stealth fighters on aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales, denied a single charge of rape and claimed to have no memory of having sex with her. He said, if anything did happen, it must have been consensual.

However he was convicted at Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, and jailed for five years. LS Avery was also dismissed from Her Majesty’s Services with disgrace.

Royal Navy Leading Seaman Sam Avery, pictured arriving at Bulford Military Court, was found guilty of raping a female colleague at her home after a night out in Portsmouth and jailed for five years. He was also dismissed from the Royal Navy in disgrace

Jailing him, Judge Robert Hill told Avery he had betrayed the trust of the woman who had agreed to let him sleep in her room.

Judge Hill said: ‘You and your victim had been contacting for some time on a social network.

‘You had not met until the night of this offence. You were both out in Portsmouth, and you went back to [her base] with her.

‘There came a time when both you and she went to bed. She took you on trust.. There had been nothing sexual leading up to this.

‘She firmly rebuffed you twice – there was no doubt she was not up for sex.

‘She was drunk and asleep when you started to have sex with her. She trusted you and you knew you were being trusted.’

Avery worked refuelling stealth fighters on aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales (pictured)

Avery worked refuelling stealth fighters on aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales (pictured)

During the trial, the panel heard the woman had gone to a pub in Portsmouth, Hampshire, with friends to watch a football match before making her way back to her accommodation.

Prosecutor William Peters said the pair knew of each other through social media but she did not know LS Avery’s name as he messaged her using a group account.

During the course of her evening at the pub, she had been exchanging messages with LS Avery, of 207 Squadron RAF Marham, Norfolk, which is a joint RAF and Navy unit for the F-35 Lightning stealth fighter.

After bumping into him, she invited him back to her room for a drink and was happy to let him sleep in her bed as it was common for sailors to bunk with each other, especially if one lived far away, the court heard.

Mr Peters said: ‘He made two efforts to touch her intimately but she rebuffed his advances and pushed him away.’ 

The court heard she awoke to discover the accused was having sex with her. 

In a police interview shown to the court, the woman said she was shocked by the alleged attack, saying: ‘He [touched] me on my waist area and I grabbed his hand and went “no” and then he stopped.

‘And then about five minutes later he proceeded to do it again and I grabbed his hand and said “no I told you not to” and then he stopped again.’

He was jailed by Bulford Military Court (pictured) after being found guilty of raping his colleague

He was jailed by Bulford Military Court (pictured) after being found guilty of raping his colleague

‘I drifted off to sleep [and] was awoken by him inside of me. I said “what are you doing, have you realised what you have just done?”

She told the court there was repeated sexual contact despite telling Avery to stop. 

In the interview, the woman said LS Avery was making pleasure noises and grunting as the alleged rape took place.

The court heard LS Avery’s DNA was found inside her.

In the police interview, she said LS Avery messaged her the day after the incident asking about what had happened and if she was ok.

She added: ‘I replied saying “I am traumatised by me waking up to you inside of me”.

‘He said “are you sure?” I put “yes I am sure.” Then he said “are you okay?” I said “no I am not okay after what you did to me, you did not have consent”.’

‘He read that message and never replied.’

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