Royal Navy officer relieved of duty after female sailor accuses him of sexual assault

A ROYAL Navy officer has been relieved of his duty after he was accused by a female sailor of sexual assault.

He was serving on board HMS Albion, the Navy’s third-biggest vessel, when the alleged incident took place.

A Royal Naval officer has been relieved of his duty after a female sailor accused him of sexual assault

A Royal Naval officer has been relieved of his duty after a female sailor accused him of sexual assaultCredit: Alamy

It is claimed he molested the sailor after a boozy night in Amsterdam, where the ship is currently docked.

The officer may face criminal charges and the end of his 25-year naval career but has not been charged by police.

He was escorted back to the UK by Navy police on Sunday.

A Navy source said: “This is a serious allegation which brings the service into disrepute.

“There is an attitude among seamen that ‘boys will be boys’ but this kind of behaviour is unacceptable in every walk of life. The Navy has zero tolerance for it.

“If the allegations are proven it’s not just a gross breach of his authority but a criminal offence, plain and simple.”

The sexual assault allegedly happened on Saturday night while he was on his way back to the ship after an evening of boozing

A source close to the incident said the officer drunkenly “tried it on” with the female sailor, touching her inappropriately.

The Royal Navy Police, responsible for enforcing law and discipline within the Navy, questioned him on Sunday morning after the woman issued a formal complaint.

HMS Albion’s captain Simon Kelly then ordered the accused officer to leave the ship, pending further enquiries.

He was escorted back to the UK by provost guards via Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

HMS Albion, an amphibious transport vessel, has a crew of around 400 sailors and Marines.

The ship’s company attended a ceremony at the Tower of London last year with Princess Anne, Albion’s royal sponsor.

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A Royal Navy spokesman said: “The Royal Navy demands the highest of standards and takes all allegations seriously.

“We are currently investigating an incident on HMS Albion and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

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