30 July 2010

CASE STUDY - Bullying In The NAVY - Female sailor breaks silence on bullying

I want to see your breasts bounce, sailor admits saying

July 27, 2010

A naval petty officer who reprimanded a junior sailor for blatantly sexist language on HMAS Success last year was himself charged with misbehaviour after telling a female sailor he wanted to see her "breasts bounce", an inquiry heard today.

But Petty Officer Peter Warner, who was deployed on HMAS Success during its deployment to South East Asia and China, came close to confirming that there was a "bounty" on the heads of female sailors imposed by renegade male sailors.

Petty Officer Warner said that, sometime before April 15 last year, he was standing in a scran (meal) line when he heard Able Seaman (AB) Mark Leach saying there was a $200 prize for the first sailor who could sleep with Seaman Shauna Utber.

"I said to AB Leach and the others that such talk was to stop immediately or it could wreck their careers," Petty Officer Warner said today.

Appearing before Roger Gyles, QC, in his inquiry into events on HMAS Success last year, Petty Officer Warner said he had mentioned the incident to another female sailer, Leading Seaman Brenda Freeman because he understood she was a leading hand in the female mess.

But he had not reported it to anyone else.

He had, however, confronted Able Seaman Leach later and Able Seaman Leach had said that there was a tab on who was the first to sleep with Seaman Utber.

Petty Officer Warner said that when Able Seaman Leach had made the remark, there were up to 20 other sailors in the line.

The inquiry has heard that one of the sailors, Richard Goode, did in fact have consensual intercourse with Seaman Utber at a later time during the voyage.

Petty Officer Warner said that he had on another occasion during the voyage seen Leading Seaman Becky Fealy just get off a treadmill and he had said to her: "Run instead of walk so I can see your breasts bounce."

Chief Petty Officer Jason Thomas had heard him make the remark and had told him that sort of talk was to stop. But he had gained the impression that Chief Petty Officer Thomas was not "pulling me up" and was inclined to laugh about it. He had later apologised to Leading Seaman Fealy and he thought that she had accepted his apology but she had later made a complaint.

In March this year, he had pleaded guilty to a charge under the Defence Force Discipline Act of improper conduct.

Able Seaman Iain Berry, who had been a steward on board the ship, said that, when HMAS Success pulled in at Darwin at the start of its voyage, he had seen Petty Officer Jason Cowley slap Able Seaman Amy McMurtrie on the bottom and he had thought it was in a sexual manner.

Further on in the voyage he had heard an able seaman named Bonsar saying that there was a $200 prize on the first person to sleep with "Seaman Okers", which was a nickname for Seaman Utber.

He said he had not, himself, joined in the conversation but believed that there were three others involved. He had later spoken to Able Seaman McMurtrie about it.

"I said to her to look out for Shauna as there were possibly some idiots who wanted to sleep with her," he said.

AB Steuart Bonsar, called to give evidence, denied that he had made any remarks about a price being put on the head of Seaman Utber for sex.

He did recall that during the voyage hearing of a $200 bounty on Seaman Utber’s head but he did not remember who told him and he was not the source of it.


Female sailor breaks silence on bullying

A WOMAN sailor was grabbed by the throat during her ship's stopover in Hong Kong and told to ''do as you are f------ told'', but feared repercussions if she reported such incidents, an inquiry heard yesterday.

Female sailor breaks silence on bullying

June 23, 2010

A WOMAN sailor was grabbed by the throat during her ship's stopover in Hong Kong and told to ''do as you are f------ told'', but feared repercussions if she reported such incidents, an inquiry heard yesterday.

Leading Seaman Stacey Pikot was appearing before Roger Gyles, QC, conducting an inquiry into misbehaviour aboard HMAS Success last year in south-east Asia.

She said there was a similar incident when the same sailor, Able Seaman Daniel Gordon, had put her in a headlock.

Leading Seaman Pikot said another sailor, an Able Seaman Kearns, had said to her in a bar in Manila to ''shut up you f------ moll.''

She had seen a lot of sexist behaviour, including one incident last year when a group of sailors had barked at her like dogs.

When HMAS Success had docked at Manila, she had gone to a hotel and the next morning had knocked at a door to find it opened by Able Seaman Lisa Brookman, drinking from a bottle of vodka. Leading Seaman Pikot could see Petty Officer Orlando Barrett in bed behind her.

Another time she had seen a male in a female's room. These incidents were inappropriate in naval eyes but she decided not to report them.

Then she heard that there was a rumour going around about her, which she suspected originated from crew member Able Seaman Kearns, that she was having an affair with a friend, Able Seaman Samuel Brown.

This was untrue, and she had complained to a medical supervisor, Chief Petty Officer Leeanne Nightingale, who had advised her to make a complaint. ''I said I was scared of the repercussions,'' Leading Seaman Pikot said.

When a Naval Equity and Diversity team had come on board ship, she had spoken with a team member, Lieutenant Diane McArthur, but she did not report the assaults by Able Seaman Gordon.

''I recall Lieutenant McArthur asking whether females on the ship felt safe,'' Leading Seaman Pikot said. ''She said she had only been on the ship one night and did not feel safe. She said a male officer had woken her in an intoxicated state.''

Lieutenant McArthur had said she knew that when young female sailors came onto the ship, they were referred to as fresh meat. After her session with the lieutenant, Leading Seaman Pikot said she felt word had leaked out about it and she felt ''isolated''.

''People seemed to be deliberately ignoring me,'' she said. She had heard a comment she felt directed at her that she should ''keep her mouth shut'' and was very distressed.

Able Seaman Brookman, giving evidence, said she was ''unsure'' whether Petty Officer Barrett had been in her bed in Manila. There had been no male sailors around when she went to bed and she had not had sex with him.

In answer to Lieutenant Commander Alister Abadee, counsel for Lieutenant McArthur, she agreed that she had spent a lot of time with Petty Officer Barrett but that they were ''all together''.

She had not confided to Lieutenant McArthur that she had woken up with Petty Officer Barrett in her bed and if Lieutenant McArthur said she had, then the lieutenant was making it up.

She denied telling Lieutenant McArthur that she was pretty sure she had had sex but she was so drunk she did not know whether it was consensual or not. The inquiry continues.


Unfolding Case - The Reporting Coverage

Reputations overboard in navy scandal

It's sailor against sailor as an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse on board HMAS Success continues, writes Malcolm Brown.

Warship whistleblower tells of 'faggot' slur

15 Jul A whistleblower who raised concerns about sexual harassment on board HMAS Success suffered such resentment that graffiti was written on a Singapore bar wall that he was "faggot", an inquiry heard today.

'I start at top of ship', inquiry hears of sex claims

14 Jul A leading seaman on the naval ship HMAS Success had said on shore leave last year that he had not yet had sexual intercourse with a female lieutenant or sub-lieutenant but said: "But I start at the top of the ship," an inquiry heard today.

I did not see sailors having sex: petty officer

9 Jul A naval petty officer denied today that he had seen a male and female sailor having sex on a pool table in a bar in China during a deployment of their ship, HMAS Success last year.

Warship's chief petty officer denies sex 'bounty' threat

8 Jul A chief petty officer who was put off the warship HMAS Success during its Asian deployment last year denied today that he had told Petty Officer Rebecca Shannon that he would put a "bounty" on her head if she did not "play the game".

Sailor was breath-test lookout: warship inquiry hears

7 Jul A sailor who served on the warship HMAS Success during its deployment to Asia last year told an inquiry today that one of his jobs was to look out for people conducting random breath tests.

Warship officers say female commander suggested sex

28 Jun A senior female naval officer suggested to two male lieutenants on the warship HMAS Success last year that she was available for sex, an inquiry heard today.

Petty officer denies touching sailor

25 Jun A naval Petty Officer admitted today that he had made rude, derogative remarks about the breasts, buttocks and legs of female sailors on the warship HMAS Success, but he denied slapping one of them "on the arse."

Sailors reject assault claims

THREE sailors from HMAS Success named in accounts of inappropriate behaviour by their female colleagues have rejected the allegations at a naval inquiry.

Female sailor tells of threats of violence

A FEMALE sailor from the warship HMAS Success said yesterday that she was threatened with physical violence by male sailors after she had swung a punch at one of them for not leaving her alone.

Sailor had sex after losing purse, inquiry hears

23 Jun A female sailor who lost her wallet during a visit by the warship HMAS Success to a Chinese port was consoled by a male petty officer with whom she later had sex in one of the ship's bunk rooms, an inquiry heard today.

Female sailor breaks silence on bullying

A WOMAN sailor was grabbed by the throat during her ship's stopover in Hong Kong and told to ''do as you are f------ told'', but feared repercussions if she reported such incidents, an inquiry heard yesterday.

Female sailor lived in fear, inquiry hears

22 Jun A female sailor, who saw incidents of inappropriate behaviour among the crew of the warship HMAS Success, was assaulted, told to shut up and became the subject of a malicious rumour, an inquiry heard today.

Sexist slurs directed at female sailors, inquiry told

FEMALE sailors aboard the warship HMAS Success on deployment to south-east Asia and China last year experienced repeated sexist slurs and insults that at one point had reduced one of them to tears, an inquiry into behaviour on the ship has heard.

Warship commander blind drunk, inquiry hears

21 Jun The commanding officer of an Australian warship had become "blind" drunk at a bar in Hong Kong during a deployment to South-East Asia last year, an inquiry heard today.

Sailors dressed in Snow White outfits: inquiry

1 Jun A sailor has told an inquiry he feared for his safety after complaining about four of his colleagues who dressed up as schoolgirls at a Hong Kong bar.

HMAS Success under investigation, again

29 Apr Defence officials are investigating fresh incidents of alleged misbehaviour involving the crew of HMAS Success.

No comments:

Post a Comment