'Aggressive' Royal Navy sailor jailed for attempted rape of woman in Portsmouth

A Royal Navy sailor who tried to rape a woman at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth has been jailed.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 10:59 am
HMS Nelson in Portsmouth. Picture: Google

‘Aggressive’ Able Seaman Mitieli Vakalaca had been drinking heavily and playing cards with the woman before forcing himself upon her in her room, a court martial heard.

The 26-year-old was said to have been ‘too drunk’ to have sex and became ‘increasingly frustrated’ at the woman's insistence that he wear a condom.

He then ‘slapped away’ her hand when she went to check if he was wearing protection, saying ‘don’t… touch me’, Bulford Military Court was told.

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After being found guilty of attempted rape, the sailor has now been jailed for four years with the woman telling the court how she had been 'victim shamed' within the navy since the attack.

In a statement read aloud to the hearing, the victim - who cannot be named for legal reasons - said that as well as suffering from anxiety she had been the subject of gossip since the incident.

The statement said: ‘This assault has prevented me from going about my daily life, I cannot even go to the pub with my friends because I am on edge and afraid.

‘There is no punishment to fit the crime AB Vakalaca committed - he will never ever feel the consequences of the assault the way I have.

‘This has become a lifelong sentence for me.

‘I have been victim shamed, made to feel like it is my fault, lived in fear and heard all the gossip about me.

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‘I overheard someone refer to me as "the girl who was raped in Nelson (naval base).”

Sentencing AB Vakalaca to four years in prison, judge Michael Hunter said that the ‘considerable distress’ he had caused his victim and the way he had behaved in relation to the condom had increased his punishment.

The court heard the victim told him ‘no’ three times as he continued to try and rape her, and ‘pushed him away’.

She then locked herself in the bathroom and texted a friend on WhatsApp before fleeing with him when he arrived.

The court martial heard AB Vakalaca was found asleep in the woman's bed sometime later, with condoms and packets strewn around the room.

He later sent her text messages saying ‘we will be having babies’ and ‘we'll chat about this tomorrow’, the hearing was told.

AB Vakalaca was cleared of one count of rape but convicted of the attempted rape charge.

In addition to being jailed he was dismissed from the navy and put on the sex offenders register.

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