Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement tragically took her own life in October 2011, two years after alleging that she had been raped by two of her colleagues in the Royal Military Police while serving in Germany. The allegation was investigated by the Royal Military Police’s Special Investigation Branch, and in December 2009, two individuals were referred to the independent Service Prosecuting Authority. However the prosecutors determined that there was no realistic prospect of a conviction and no charges were brought against the individuals.
Following the inquest into her death in 2014, Brigadier John Donnelly apologised on behalf of the Army to Anne-Marie’s family for the failures in her treatment which contributed to her death. The Royal Military Police investigation was reviewed three times and in 2013, following representations from the family, the case was reopened by the RAF Police, assisted by the Bedfordshire Police. Subsequently, on 29 October 2015, the Director of Service Prosecutions, Andrew Cayley CMG QC, concluded that the prosecution decision in 2010 had been wrong and directed charges against the two former members of the Royal Military Police. A Court Martial later acquitted the two individuals.
The Royal Military Police takes any allegation of rape very seriously. It is now clear that mistakes were made in the original investigation, including in relation to decision making. As a result, aspects of the original investigation were unsatisfactory. Any instance where this happens is unacceptable and it is vital that we learn the lessons of these events. The Royal Military Police has done so; Anne-Marie deserved better and for that the Royal Military Police apologises unreservedly to the family for those failings. In apologising to her family, the Royal Military Police and the wider Army pay tribute to them for the courage and determination that they have shown on behalf of Anne-Marie.