Colonel ‘groped officer’s wife in hospital as she visited sick son’

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A Lieutenant Colonel sexually assaulted another officer’s wife as she visited her critically ill child in hospital, a court martial has heard.

The woman claims Lt Col Gordon Edwards, 59, sexually assaulted her in a coffee shop queue when she was at her “most vulnerable”, with her child unconscious.

The woman told the military tribunal at Bulford, Wilts: “He ran his hand across the small of my back from left to right, down on my right bottom cheek and squeezed.

“It was a proper grope. I was shocked. My child had nearly died. It was not like I was at a party having a good time.

“I couldn’t believe someone of his stature would do that at that time.”

She and her husband had been waiting for news when Lt Col Edwards arrived with another soldier.

Naomi Gyane, defending, suggested the mum had been in a “heightened emotional state” and “confused”.

But she told her: “I was in full control of my mental state. It was a full, 100 per cent intentional touch.”

The court heard that when confronted later by her husband, the officer had told him: “Sorry, mate, I didn’t mean anything by it.”

Lt Col Edwards, of the Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering, at Lyneham, denies sexual assault in the 2018 incident.

Prosecutor William Peters told the panel the dispute had led to the husband’s behaviour being investigated.

He said Lt Col Edwards argued the allegation was the husband “getting his own back”. But he added: “That does not stand up to scrutiny.”

The trial continues.