A soldier who grabbed the buttocks of two female colleagues in a parade to “lighten the mood” has been found guilty of sexual assault and sentenced to two months in prison.
Smirking Trooper Phillip Ewart, 29, of the Household Cavalry, squeezed the women within minutes of each other as they stood next to him in Windsor Barracks.
When asked to explain the squeezing of the women’s buttocks, he told Bulford Military Court in Wiltshire that it was just ‘teasing’ and that he would have done it to a male colleague as well.
But after two and a half hours of deliberation, the court-martial found Tpr Ewart guilty of two charges of sexual assault.
Alistair McGrigor, assistant judge’s attorney general, sentenced him to 60 days in military prison and told Tpr Ewart, “ You said there was no element of sexual intention, but the court held that there was an element of sexual satisfaction. on your side. ‘
In a statement, one of his victims told the court that the incident had affected her way of working because other troopers “judge her.”
She said, “I don’t think this will allow me to work in the same way as before. I also think that other troopers will think and talk differently around me.
“I’m afraid this will happen again and I can’t do anything to stop it from happening again.”
Trooper Phillip Ewart (photo arriving at Bulford Military Court) of the Household Cavalry was found guilty of two charges of sexual assault
Chris Jenkins defensively labeled Tpr Ewart’s behavior as “badly judged” and described him as an “idiot.”
Mr. Jenkins said, “Trooper Ewart was acting like an idiot, (the actions) were done like an ill-considered, foolish attempt to harass himself in a parade.”
He added: ‘He thought because his friends would find it funny, they probably would too. Being an idiot, he thought it would be passed on to his girlfriends. ‘
Mr Jenkins said that Tpr Ewart felt “nauseous” when the women did not consider his actions as a joke.
Bulford Military Court had heard that all three troopers were serving in the training wing of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment when the incident occurred.
The regiment, referred to as the ‘trusted guards of the monarch’, is one of the oldest in the British Army.
The court-martial heard that the soldiers had been called up during the Sunday morning parade, but while they were standing in line, one of Tpr Ewart’s victims – who cannot be named for legal reasons – told the court that he had taken her behind him.
“ I wasn’t explicitly comfortable at first, but we were in parade so I thought I would deal with the matter later, ” she said.
Tpr Ewart (pictured arriving at Bulford Military Court) denied groping the women, claiming he just ‘typed’ them
He shrugged when he grinned, then looked away from me. A few minutes later he did exactly the same with (the other trooper). ‘
His second victim said: ‘I felt really shocked and disgusted so I looked straight to the left and asked what had just happened.
‘I asked Trooper Ewart directly and I said it quite aggressively because of how I was feeling and no one said anything.
“I was just in shock and so much emotion came over me – I was really overwhelmed – that I just burst into tears.”
A witness, Trooper Monja Danischewsky, told the court that after the incident, Tpr Ewart joked that he was “just trying to lighten the mood.”
The court heard that the soldier had sent the second woman a Whatsapp message later after the incident to apologize and explain that he needed to remember that he was not working in a male-dominated environment.
In court, Tpr Ewart denied that he had groped the women, claiming that he had just “tapped” them.
He told the hearing that he thought he had a friendship with both of them, which meant that it was okay for him to touch their buttocks and that his male colleagues had a “ similar kind of teasing. ”
The trooper also told the court that there was no specific reason for any of the incidents other than ‘she was there’.
When asked to explain his behavior, he said, ‘(I was) just being an idiot to be honest. It was a joke misunderstood.
Bulford Military Court in Wiltshire heard that all three troopers were serving in the training wing of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment when the incident occurred.
“It was just a short tap and there was no sexual motivation at all.”
He added: ‘It was just the wrong time, wrong place, heat of the moment. There was no specific reason other than that she was there.
‘It could have been a male colleague. There was no difference at all between man and woman. ‘
Tpr Ewart went on to say that it was due to the ‘nature of the friendship’ he believed he had with both of them that he thought it was okay to grab their bottoms.
He said, “I hadn’t dreamed of doing that to someone I just met five minutes ago.
“ I (did) like (I would) with my male co-workers who were bobbing around and having the same kind of teasing. ”
Sol Hartley challenged Tpr Ewart over his claim that he was doing it for a joke.
“If this was just for fun, you could have tapped them on the back or on the shoulder.” he asked.
“You could have flipped their ear, but you didn’t swing their ear, grabbed their bottoms, and you did that because it was sexual and humiliating for those two, didn’t you?”