Posted on June 11, 2019
Officer Cadets Jonathan Cox, 25, and Edward Wright, 24, both deny battery and are standing trial at Bulford Military Court in Wiltshire. Cox and Wright confronted Edward Flower, now a Second Lieutenant, in August last year, the court heard.
Mr Flower said he had been returning to his room when Cox blocked his way by moving into a “star shape” across the corridor. The alleged victim said he attempted to crawl through Cox’s legs. “As I crawled through his legs, he grabbed my ankles so at this point I was lying face down on the floor,” he said. Mr Flower added that Cox then turned him over and continued to hold onto his ankles. He then allegedly lifted him from the floor, Mr Flower recalled feeling “dazed with the blood rushing” to his head.
“Officer Cadet Wright proceeded to teabag me while clothed.”
Mr Flower told the court that this involved Wright “squatting down” on his face on a number of occasions, with his bottom touching his face. “I was getting far more of a head rush and starting to feel quite dazed and confused,” he added.
The court heard that the platoon were in the process of moving rooms and there were two field dressings on the floor. “Officer Cadet Wright picked one of them up and stated ‘Let’s waterboard him’,” Mr Flower said. He described the dressing being placed across his eyes, nose and mouth tight enough to stay in position.
Cox then picked up a water bottle and “proceeded to pour a continuous amount of water” over Mr Flower’s face, he told the court. “It was a suffocating motion, being completely blindfolded you didn’t have any sense of what’s really going on,” he said. “It made me feel massively dehumanised.”
Mr Flower said Wright then pulled back the field dressing to reveal his mouth and nose and poured a bottle of water over it for 15-20 seconds. He estimated that about 500ml of water was poured over his face in total. Mr Flower said it had a “heavy effect” on his mental health, leading to him putting in his resignation at one point. He claimed he had been “ostracised” by colleagues and spent a week in the medical centre due to his mental health. In interviews with the Royal Military Police, the defendants insisted Mr Flower had been consenting to what happened. Wright said he had only poured enough water to fill a shot glass on to Mr Flower, who he suggested had found it “amusing”. Cox told police that less than 20ml of water was poured on Mr Flower’s head to wet his hair and described it as “just friends being friends”.
Wright and Cox deny the charge against them, and the trial, before Judge Advocate Alan Large, continues.