Navy sailor guilty of sexually assaulting colleagues during Canada trip

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A Royal New Zealand Navy sailor has been fault guilty of two counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual violation at a court martial at the Devonport Naval Base. (File photo)

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A Royal New Zealand Navy sailor has been fault guilty of two counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual violation at a court martial at the Devonport Naval Base. (File photo)

A Navy sailor sexually violated and indecently assaulted his colleagues following a drunken night in Canada, a court-martial jury has concluded.

The 27-year-old sailor, who has interim name suppression, was also found guilty of indecently assaulting another colleague in the back of a taxi following a group outing a week earlier in 2020.

He had denied the offences at the hearing being held at Devonport Naval Base on Auckland’s North Shore this week.

The sailors were on a tour of duty on frigates HMNZS Te Kaha and Te Mana in Canada at the time, however the offending took place on land.

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The sailor was posted to HMNZS Te Kaha in Canada at the time of the offending. (File photo)

NZDF/Supplied

The sailor was posted to HMNZS Te Kaha in Canada at the time of the offending. (File photo)

The Crown said the sailor grabbed his colleague’s breast in the back of a taxi as the pair headed back to base after a group outing at a restaurant in downtown Victoria, in the province of British Columbia on 2 August, 2020.

One week later in the early hours of 9 August, the man went from colleague to colleague as they slept at a rented apartment following a party, indecently assaulting one by kissing and touching her intimately and sexually violating another.

Crown prosecutor Sam McMullan said both woman told the accused to stop, but he didn’t.

In his closing remarks on Thursday, Judge Kevin Riordan asked that the jury of five military members disregard the effect alcohol consumption may have had on the accused.

“Just because someone was drunk doesn’t mean they can’t remember things of great importance.”

He added that being drunk could not be used as a defence.

Regarding the matter of consent, Riordan said silence or a lack of protest did not equate to consent.

“A failure to fight back is not consent.”