A Royal Navy submarine warfare expert has been kicked out of the military for slapping a 17-year-old striped sweater on the buttocks during a basketball game.
Leading Seaman Andrew Hallimond had said he was paying the teenager a “compliment” for playing well when he hit her on the butt.
The 39-year-old argued he just liked jokes and taking a “slightly friendlier approach” with the young recruits he was responsible for.
But a court martial was told that over a three month period, Hallimond became obsessed with the young sailor and shocked her once by saying “it’s nice to see you have red underwear on. in your drawer “.
He made inappropriate comments to her “every day” and “couldn’t keep his hands away from her,” it was alleged.
Following a trial in March last year, Hallimond was convicted of sexual assault at Bulford Military Court, Wilts, but his conviction was initially postponed due to the Covid pandemic.
It has now emerged that he has been sentenced to nine months in detention and entered into the sex offender registry while also being discharged from the military.
Edinburgh-born Hallimond, who was attached to the spearfishing frigate HMS Richmond, told the court he liked to encourage “jokes” because they could “break down barriers” with his young charges.
He admitted to slapping her butt while playing basketball, but said he does that sort of thing as a “compliment” when someone scores a goal or plays well.
On another occasion, the court heard that the young woman was alone on the basketball court with Hallimond when she leaned down to put her water bottle on the ground and he slapped her on the back.
His victim said the touching and abuse happened so often that she “expected it every time she walked into work” at HMNB Devonport and claimed he made so many comments she couldn’t not remember all of them.
In another incident, Hallimond, who had been drinking alcohol with a young group of sailors, said they were sitting in the common room playing the drinking game ‘never I never have eat “.
He went to use the toilet in the victim’s room and when he came back he said “it’s nice to see you have red underwear in your drawer”.
The court martial heard that on another occasion Hallimond met the woman at a basketball game and touched her breasts.
He was accused of deliberately groping her, but the panel decided it was an accident and on this occasion his actions were not sexually motivated.
Prosecutor Rupert Gregory said, âIt’s not the 1970s. The world has changed.
âYou can’t just slap your coworkers’ buttocks.
âIt’s sexual assault if they don’t consent or you don’t reasonably believe they consent.
“It was happening day in and day out.
“She hated being around him, coming into contact with him because she knew that at some point it would be there; her hand on his back.
“She tried to ignore him as a little bit stupid. It wasn’t. It was a sexual assault.”
The victim previously told the court that she didn’t know Hallimond very well and was therefore shocked by his behavior, adding: âAt first I didn’t know if it was jokes or not, but after a while, it was too much and it was clear that they were towards me.
“On another occasion he said ‘okay big ass’.
“I was shocked because I had never been called like that before.”
Hallimond was fired from the military after being convicted of one count of sexual assault following a three-day trial last year.
He was sentenced to nine months in detention and entered in the sex offender registry.
He was cleared of three other counts, including grabbing the woman’s breasts during the basketball game and slapping her buttocks in an elevator and office.