Staff sergeant dismissed for groping and kissing female soldier

Staff sergeant, 35, is dismissed from the Army for groping and kissing a female soldier at military event after getting drunk on specially brewed lager

  • SSgt Matthew Davies, 35, a father of one, served in British Army for over 18 years 
  • ‘Crass error of judgement’ left the woman feeling ’embarrassed and humiliated’

A staff sergeant has been dismissed from the British Army for groping and kissing a female soldier at a military event after getting ‘very drunk’ on specially brewed extra strong beer.

SSgt Matthew Davies, who served in the British Army for more than 18 years and fought in Afghanistan, grabbed the woman and kissed her on the lips after downing too much of the lager named after the Army’s administrative disciplinary procedure – AGAI 67.

The 35-year-old father-of-one, of the 26 Regiment Royal Artillery, also grasped the woman’s breast and waist on separate occasions in a series of ‘unwanted sexual advances’, a court martial heard.

In a ‘crass error of judgement’ SSgt Davies left the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, feeling ’embarrassed and humiliated’.

The experienced soldier admitted a charge of disgraceful conduct of an indecent kind and was dismissed from the forces at Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire.

Staff sergeant Matthew Davies, who served in the British Army for more than 18 years, pictured at Bulford Military Court Centre

The court heard SSgt Davies had indulged in too much of the lager, which was brewed especially for the mess function at the regiment’s Larkhill Camp, near Salisbury.

His lawyer told the hearing it was ‘stronger than normal and he calibrated things very badly indeed’, adding: ‘The great irony here is the beer he drank was called AGAI 67.’

The mess was operating a free bar for service personnel and SSgt Davies drank so much he was ‘slurring his words’ and ‘swaying’.

Prosecutor Captain Daniel Lawlor told the court: ‘He placed himself an eight or nine out of 10 of drunkenness. This is a case of a very drunk staff sergeant who made misplaced advances.

‘Ultimately, she wasn’t interested in him and his conduct manifested in inappropriate touching.’

Cpt Lawlor said SSgt Davies put his arm around the woman’s waist, before telling her friend ‘I’ve got something for her’.

The prosecutor continued: ‘Later in the night, SSgt Davies put his hand on her waist and moved it around to her upper body. In the words of the complainant he then, “pulled at my boob”.’

The woman fled and reported the incident but a short while later on the dance floor, SSgt Davies ‘took her by the head and kissed her mouth’.

The father-of-one groped and kissed a female soldier at a military event after getting ‘very drunk’

As a result he was told to leave the function and he then apologised to the woman via WhatsApp the next day for his behaviour.

‘This was a serious offence – a crass error in judgement which resulted in inappropriate touching,’ Cpt Lawlor said.

Mitigating, Matthew Bolt told the court SSgt Davies was ‘extremely remorseful’ for his behaviour and ‘hopes she has put this behind her.’ 

Sentencing SSgt Davies, Judge Advocate General Darren Reed said he had left his victim feeling ’embarrassed and humiliated’.

The judge said: ‘Over the course of an evening you made unwanted sexual advances.

‘Taking everything into account, we are convinced this offence is serious enough to warrant dismissal. We don’t consider any shorter service community order will be sufficient.’

Because of SSgt Davies’ ‘exemplary record’ and guilty plea, Judge Reed said there would be not be an additional community order punishment.

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