A “drunken” female sailor aboard the Royal Navy’s flagship was accused of groping her colleague who had become “jealous” of her relationship with another crew member, a court martial heard.
Petty Officer Christina Reaney was said to have asked the alleged victim “How do you let someone know that you had a sex dream about them?” after climbing into her bunk and fondling her breast.
The court martial heard that PO Reaney, of the Royal Navy Police, had been drinking brandy in the mess of HMS Queen Elizabeth before the alleged sexual assault.
The alleged victim told the court that minutes before the incident she had found PO Reaney “naked” in bed with a third female sailor.
‘Spoon into oblivion’
PO Reaney denied that the assault took place, claiming the alleged victim was “jealous” of her over her friendship with the third woman, as she had previously left a note inviting her to “spoon her into oblivion”.
A panel of five Royal Navy officers deliberated for just 25 minutes before acquitting PO Reaney of sexual assault.
Barrister Callum Munday, defending PO Reaney, said: “[The alleged victim] fancied her, she had a crush on her and she was jealous of how close PO Reaney and her were.”
When giving evidence, the alleged victim admitted that she had a “crush” on the third sailor, but insisted she was not jealous and not making up allegations.
‘Naked as the day she was born’
PO Reaney’s alleged victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the court around 11pm she opened a cabin door and found PO Reaney “naked as the day she was born” in bed with another female sailor, who was fully clothed, a claim denied by PO Reaney.
The third woman later left and PO Reaney was “quite giggly and found the situation to be quite funny”, the alleged victim told the court.
She said that PO Reaney, who had got dressed into pyjamas at this point, “was drunk and could not stand up without the support of the desk”.
Then PO Reaney climbed into the top bunk and “nonchalantly” caressed her sexually while still talking, the female sailor said.
However, the panel of judges dismissed the allegations and cleared PO Reaney of sexual assault. When the verdict was delivered, PO Reaney closed her eyes, then bowed her head and wept.