A British Army corporal has been locked up for sexually assaulting a junior male soldier while telling him to imagine he was ‘a girl from back home’.
Corporal Julian Henshaw led the younger, drunk private into woods while they were based in Germany, before pulling down his shorts and assaulting him, a court martial heard.
As his victim ‘froze’, Cpl Henshaw, 30, told him to think of a girl from back home and performed a sex act on him despite his protests.
Despite originally denying the offence and saying he was too drunk to remember anything, he pleaded guilty to sexual assault after his saliva was found on the victim’s shorts, which he claimed was ‘a great shock’ because he was heterosexual.
At Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, Cpl Henshaw was dismissed from the military by Judge Advocate General Alan Large.
Corporal Julian Henshaw, pictured here at Bulford Military Court, has been jailed for sexually assaulting a junior male soldier
Cpl Henshaw, who served in world class armoured infantry unit the 1st Battalion, Mercian Regiment, will serve 14 months in the Military Corrective Training Centre in Colchester, Essex, and will be on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.
William Peters, prosecuting, told the court Cpl Henshaw and his victim served in the same platoon and were stationed in Sennelager, Germany, when troops were drinking heavily on a Friday night into the early hours of the next day.
He said: ‘The private can’t remember exactly why, perhaps to smoke, but at one point after heavy drinking he found himself outside on a path and he was approached by Cpl Henshaw who asked him to go for a walk.’
Mr Peters said the pair walked for about 10 minutes before reaching a ‘dark’ and ‘unfamiliar’ area in the woods near a medical block.
He added the pair were ‘standing there and Cpl Henshaw knelt on the ground, pulled down the shorts the private was wearing’ before sexually assaulting him.
‘The private tried to resist and push him away but essentially he froze,’ Mr Peters said.
The British Army soldier told his victim to imagine he was ‘a girl from back home’ during the incident. The sexual assault took place while he was stationed in Sennelager, Germany
The court heard when the private told Cpl Henshaw to stop he persisted and said ‘stop calling me Henshaw’ and to imagine he was a girl he knew from back home.
When the assault finished, Cpl Henshaw told the victim ‘best not to tell anyone’ about what happened and they walked back to the barracks together.
Mr Peters said the private was ‘distressed, scared and shocked’ and told fellow soldiers what had happened after they saw him crying.
Forensic scientists examined the shorts the private was wearing on the night of the attack and found Cpl Henshaw’s saliva inside the front of them.
Cpl Henshaw denied the charges until his own forensic expert confirmed these findings, at which point he pleaded guilty in February this year.
The private said in a statement read in court he had nightmares about the attack. He said he felt ‘fearful’ and didn’t know who to trust.
Andrew Stone, defending, said Cpl Henshaw was sent home immediately after the incident and had been ‘building an entirely new life on civvy street’ following more than seven years of service in the Army.
He has been living in Derby with his long-term partner Maria, who joined him in court.
A military court sentenced Cpl Henshaw to 14 months in a Military Corrective Training Centre in Colchester, Essex. The hearing took place at Bulford Military Court in Wiltshire, pictured here.
Mr Stone said: ‘The difficulty Cpl Henshaw has had with this case was his drinking was to such a level that evening that he simply cannot remember doing anything that evening.
‘He wanted it confirmed by his own expert because it was so incredibly out of character.
‘All of his relationships have been heterosexual relationships so it came as a very great shock that he had been involved in this, that he instigated this. It took some understanding on his part and he wanted to be sure what he was pleading to.
‘He does feel dreadful about what he has done. He bitterly regrets the idea that he could do that to somebody else.’
Judge Large, sentencing, said: ‘You realised your options were limited and pleaded guilty about two weeks ago. The victim in this case had the stress of what must have been a difficult case hanging over him.
‘This is out of character and it’s had and will continue to have an effect on you and your partner.’