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Cpl Anne-Marie Ellement inquest: Military bullying debate reopened

BBC online

Her sisters believe the Army should have done more to protect her.

"Anne-Marie was begging for help and support and no-one listened to her," says Khristina Swain.

Her other sister, Sharon Hardy, said the family were completely shocked when they were told their "happy, confident and bubbly" sister had taken her own life.

"We had no idea she was in such a very dark state of depression, but somebody in the Army would have known about that," she said.

Cpl Ellement had alleged she was raped by two soldiers while drunk during a posting in Germany in 2009.

The 30-year-old, from Bournemouth, alleged she was then bullied by other female soldiers. She was found hanged at Bulford Barracks near Salisbury, Wiltshire, in October 2011.

Ms Swain described how her sister had hoped to travel to Arizona and had long-term plans to become a paramedic.

"We've read her diaries - she was a private person and the last thing she wanted to do was worry her family," she added.

"What upsets us now as a family is that if we had known, we could have helped."

She added: "She felt so isolated - she felt she couldn't go to the canteen, she was stuck in her room. She didn't get any support at all."

The sisters maintain she was also "constantly drained" from excessive hours at work and was frequently called in on her days off.

Mrs Hardy said that after Cpl Ellement sought medical help for depression, information should have been more effectively shared with other units by her superiors and the family should have been made aware of the extent of her mental health problems.

"They didn't take it seriously - nobody seemed to want to take any ownership," she said.

During the inquest, Mrs Hardy said her sister "could not believe" that the two men she said had attacked her would not be charged.

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