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Corporal from Avoch denies sexually assaulting woman with intent to rape her at army reserve centre in Inverness

By Ali Morrison

Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

A woman has told a jury at Inverness Sheriff Court that she was sexually assaulted by a corporal.

Andrew Lingard (48) of Rosehaugh Crescent, Avoch, is accused of seizing the woman by the body, pursuing her through the building and into a toilet cubicle before pushing her on to a bed and trying to remove her clothing, all to her injury.

The 49-year-old woman told the jury trial at Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday that she had drunk four glasses of whisky in a bar area at the reserve centre in the city's Gordonville Road before her ordeal began when she was left alone with Lingard on June 19, 2016.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charge and has lodged a special defence that any contact was consensual.

The woman said there were four people in the mess area having drinks after a busy day.

Two male colleagues left then, as she went to retire to bed, Lingard tried to stop her from leaving she said.

"He tried to put his arm round me," she said. "I was a little confused, so I stood up and told him to move out of my way."

She said he tried to bar her way but she managed to push past him and ran upstairs and hid in a women's toilet after entering a room where other men had been sleeping.

She told depute fiscal David Morton that Lingard tried to get in by climbing over the next cubicle.

She retreated to another room but he came in and pushed her on to a bed and tried to remove her clothes.

"I was lying prone. I told him to get off but I couldn't move move," she said.

She said the alleged assault came to an end when someone in another room got up and was walking in a corridor.

She reported the matter to senior army personnel two days later and saw a doctor about bruising to her arm and hip which she said was caused by her struggle with Lingard.

The woman said she considered leaving the centre that night but had nowhere to go and could not drive because she had been drinking.

Cross-examined by defence solicitor Neil Wilson he suggested she was receiving double measures of whisky.

He asked her why she had not gone into a room and told someone what had happened.

"It doesn't make sense because you are lying," he said.

She denied this.

The trial continues.

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