Army Corporal ‘laughed’ while groping two female officers

Corporal Andrew Cline - David Clarke/Solent News & Photo Agency
Corporal Andrew Cline - David Clarke/Solent News & Photo Agency

An Army Corporal squeezed a female soldier’s bottom and groped another while she was changing a tank transporter’s tyres, a court martial heard.

Corporal Andrew Cline, 34, “laughed” after he allegedly groped the first woman while he was with her below the vehicle.

Cpl Cline was assessing her work as part of a test when he assaulted her, the court heard.

The following day Cpl Cline, who serves with the Second Signal Regiment, allegedly reached over another female soldier’s shoulder and touched her right breast in a maintenance hangar while they were changing a tank transporter’s tyres.

Bulford Military Court, Wilts, heard the first woman had been completing a course at Bulford Camp at the time.

Cpl Cline was responsible for approving her work for a course.

He spent 20 minutes examining her work before they went into the pits below the truck to examine the underside of the 20-metre vehicle.

Cpl Cline grabbed the woman’s bottom and held it for three seconds, he laughed, and then exited the pits, prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Jim Carmichael told the court.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the trial: “I was shocked and turned around.

“He just smiled and went away. You do not come into work expecting something like that to happen.”

‘Pestering for her phone number’

The court heard that before that day Cpl Cline had been “pestering” the female soldier for her phone number which made her feel “uncomfortable”.

The soldier said she met up with her colleague the following day who told her she had also been groped by Cpl Cline.

When the first female soldier confided that Cpl Cline had touched her bottom the day before, the second told her that he had touched her breast earlier that day, the court was told.

The second woman then texted her boyfriend, who was also in the Army, about the incident and he contacted her senior officer on her behalf.

She told the court she had been changing the tyres of vehicles in a hangar when Cpl Cline allegedly “squeezed” her breast.

The woman said: “Cpl Cline came up behind me and flung his arm over my shoulder and grabbed my boob.

“He put his hand on my right breast. He was holding it for two to five seconds. I didn’t tell anyone [immediately] because I didn’t know how.”

The two women decided to report the incidents after having lunch together on the day of the second grope, the court heard.

The woman told the hearing she felt it was “important” to report the incident because she was one of a few women “in a male environment”.

Cpl Cline denies two counts of sexual assault.

The case continues.