Queer Navy commander relentlessly harassed straight boss and insisted she was secretly in love with her, court hears

Lily Wakefield
·3-min read

A queer Navy commander harassed her straight boss, sending her “hidden sexual messages” and insisting that she was secretly in love with her, a military court has heard.

Queer Navy commander Sally-Anne Bagnall has been accused of harassing her boss, surgeon captain Elizabeth Crowson, who she worked with at Defence Medical Services in Whittington, Staffordshire.

According to The Telegraph, a trial at Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, heard that Bagnall had launched a “romantic pursuit” of her boss, and insisted that Crowson, who is married to a man and has three children, must be “in denial about her sexuality”.

Crowson claims that during the autumn of 2018 Bagnall, 51, would send “hidden sexual messages” in emails, and sent cards to her home after “tricking” an admin working into disclosing her address.

Prosecuting, wing commander Michael Saunders said that the Navy colleagues had met up outside of work to “clear the air”.

He said: “During conversations, which were supposed to be to clear the air to improve the working relationship, Bagnall persistently said captain Crowson was suppressing her true feelings about her and was in denial about her sexuality, despite being married.”

Saunders said Bagnall had sent Crowson messages, including one which read: “It’s a triangle of love – a three I can accept that, I’m the other. Your heart is big/strong enough for two adults in this threesome, but not in the same bed.”

This message was followed by another: “Big enough heart and sex drive, I should say.”

Giving evidence in court, Crowson said: “Conversations about my marriage would then veer towards her assertion that tensions in my marriage were due to me being in internal conflict about my sexuality.

“Initially she was just exploring whether I was having difficulties about my sexuality but as it progressed it became clear she was presenting herself as a potential romantic suitor.

“She thought I was interested in her and she said she was available and willing to engage the relationship.

“I was always very clear about my sexuality, I’ve never had any leanings in that direction whatsoever.

“She refused to accept my assertions that I was not gay or looking to start a romantic relationship with her. She refused to accept them no matter how clearly I stated them.”

She added that Bagnall’s alleged advances made her feel “scared and frightened”, and caused her a “huge amount of distress”.

Bagnall denies the accusations of harassment, and her barrister, Dingle Clark, said Crowson’s behaviour led her to believe that her boss was “keen” for them to have a romantic relationship.

Clark asked Crowson: “Do you remember being in the Costa after work and saying, ‘Oh gosh, two middle aged women together, what will they think?’

“On another occasion, you looked closely at her body and breasts and said, ‘Come on, let’s go for it.’

“And, on another, you were charging your laptop or your phone or something, and you said in a knowing way, ‘Charge my battery.'”

“There’s only one inference commander Bagnall drew from that,” he said, “that you were keen for a romantic relationship or giving the impression that you were keen.”

Crowson denies that any comments she may have made were intended sexually.

The trial continues.