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'Recruit left pregnant after rape'

A woman wept as she told a court that she became pregnant after an army recruitment sergeant raped her in a locked room.

The woman, who had arrived in England from her Sierra Leone homeland in 2007 when she was 19, broke down as she told the jury at London's Southwark Crown Court that she was raped, later miscarried and felt she had no one that she could tell about her ordeal.

She claims that Army recruitment sergeant Edwin Mee raped her in the building in Croydon, south London, where his recruitment office was based.

Speaking from behind a curtain, the gently-spoken 27-year-old told the jury that Mee had refused to pick up her calls after the rape.

Then he called her after she miscarried and told her "Oh, I did not think you would get pregnant," the court heard.

Mee, 45, allegedly carried out sex attacks on 11 victims while working at an Army careers centre.

The divorced father-of-five is said to have carried out a series of attacks on women aged from 15 to their early twenties between October 2010 and September 2011.

Mee, of Tavistock Road, Croydon, south London, appeared in court dressed in a dark suit with his grey hair tied in a bun. He denies 17 counts of sexual assault, three rapes and one count of assault by penetration.

The woman told the jury "at the time I did not tell anyone because I was stressed".

She said she had felt she needed to go back to appointments that were regularly arranged by Mee at his office, because she wanted to get a job in the Army and s he feared he would not progress her application.

She only later became able to say what had happened once an investigation was launched and she later got married, the jury heard.

She did not tell her husband at first but he found out through a family friend and "he told me not to be scared, he gave me the courage to come here today," she said.

On the night of the alleged rape Mee had organised an evening appointment which made her feel "nervous", she claimed, adding that he kept on walking off and left her waiting for up to two hours.

She told the court that he also told her she needed to "calm down" and that he "liked her".

As he launched the attack, the woman claims he told her: "'I want you to do something for me. I said 'what do you mean by that?'. He said 'I want you to make love to me' .

"He said: 'There is no other way out. The front door is locked. There is no camera in here and this door is closed - so you have to choose. You have to give me sex'."

She claims he also told her: "If you do not want to do it then you cannot leave. You have to choose and then you cannot say anything to anyone. If you say anything I will f**k you up."

The woman told the jury she did not feel as if she could escape. " Everywhere was closed," she said. "I tried and tried to get to the main door but he said 'that door is already locked. There is no camera and I have the keys'."

The woman said Mee was sitting on a chair and he pulled her over to him before pulling down her trousers and underwear. He also had wrenched her arm behind her back, she claims.

During the attack she claims he told her: "You are a sweet woman."

After the alleged assault, she said he took her out the back door and dropped her off in his car so she could catch the bus home.

Mee had told her that she needed to be "nice" to him during her first job application appointment with him in 2010, she claimed.

The woman, who said she had been " inspired" to join the Army by her then-fiance, said Mee littered the meeting with comments about her "boobs", telling her that she was "really pretty" and saying that he "liked her".

He claimed it was "a compliment" but the woman said she was made to feel "uncomfortable" and she responded by saying that she "did not like those kinds of words".

She told the jury: "He told me a little bit about him and his ex-wife. He said that if I help him he will help me through my application but if I f**k with him." She then said "excuse me" to the jury before continuing, adding that Mee said "he will f**k with me".

She said did not understand straight away what he meant by asking her to be "nice" to him and said she left the appointment feeling "so bad" and "just confused."

Earlier in that interview, Mee had asked her about her background and then asked if she was a prostitute. She replied: "No, I have never been a prostitute in my life".

She also told the jury that Mee told her to look at him in the eyes but this made her uncomfortable because it is a sign of rudeness in her culture. "I am not comfortable because in our culture, we do not do that," she said. "I just wanted him to come out plain and not to talk to me in that way."

She said she went back to appointments with Mee and to sit a timed Army assessment test, but she was always made to feel uncomfortable as Mee would rub her thighs and shoulders.

Earlier, another alleged victim, described herself as a "shy" 17 year-old when Mee smacked her on the bottom seconds after her mother had walked out of the interview room.

The smack left her feeling "very shocked and a bit overwhelmed" but she did not mention it at first and was scared it might damage her application.

She told the court Mee pestered her for dates, would stare at her chest, and ask if her mother would let her stay at his house and that "he would not be able to control himself once he had a drink".

She also told the jury: "He asked if I had a relationship and a boyfriend. He also asked if I was a virgin. I asked ' why are you asking these question - they are not relevant to my application?'"

The woman applied to join the Army in March 2011 but quit her plans by December that year.

The woman, who is now 21, told the court: "I just stopped training. I felt very uncomfortable about it. My interest was diverted by what I was experiencing - the unprofessionalism. It was just not somewhere I wanted to be near."

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow at 10am.


From Belfast Telegraph