Former HMS Illustrious sailors found not guilty of assault

HMS Illustrious
HMS Illustrious
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TWO former sailors from HMS Illustrious have been cleared of assaulting two other sailors whilst on shore leave in Sicily.

Mark Pearse, 29, and Engineering Technician Aarron Evans, 28, were found not guilty of grievous bodily harm, assault and battery at a court martial in Portsmouth.

But Pearse, who has since left the Royal Navy, was found guilty of intimidating a witness.

A board of five senior officers reached the verdict at HMS Nelson’s court martial centre.

After the hearing, Evans said: ‘I’m very glad that my name has now been cleared and I have been exonerated. I’m more than happy to put these allegations behind me.’

The alleged assault happened on a night out in 2013 when Illustrious was visiting the port of Palermo on the Italian island.

The two men were accused of assaulting Petty Officer Christopher Jordan and Engineering Technician David Pape.

The court earlier heard that Evans and had admitted the assault to a shipmate, Able Seaman Aaron Camwell.

AB Camwell claimed the pair had threatened to harm him if he reported the crime, and said Pearse had even threatened his family.

Pearse’s sentencing will follow next month.