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Judge Michael Mettyear said there remained a “worrying culture” of secrecy after a military college tried to cover up the sexual abuse and ritual humiliation of a teenage female recruit.
He said he was “concerned” that attempts had been made to make the victim withdraw her complaints and “keep the mouths shut” of five other witnesses.
Eventually the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had to go to the police for her accusations to be taken seriously.
Today, as a jury found a trainee guilty at Hull Crown Court, Judge Mettyear said it was “chilling” that there were still echoes of Deepcut, the barracks in Surrey where four recruits allegedly committed suicide between 1995 and 2002 amid reports of systematic bullying by senior officers.
"There was a chilling moment when she (the victim) mentioned Deepcut and we know what's gone on there with people withholding information and suicides,” he said.
"I'm worried if there is something in the culture of the Army and people training in the Army to keep their mouths shut.
"I'm really concerned about five students declining to give statements. It looks as though it has been directed by someone.