- Wing Commander Jolyon Goodwin denies a charge of sexual assault
A married RAF chief accused of ‘sticking his tongue down’ a female NATO officer’s throat at a summer ball thrown by British forces in Germany claimed ‘I don’t even do that to my wife’, a court martial has heard.
Wing Commander Jolyon Goodwin allegedly tried to snog his Scandinavian colleague at a fancy dress party at Kaiserslautern football stadium near Allied Air Command HQ at Ramstein air base.
A military court in Sennelager, Germany heard that Goodwin claimed he ‘misread her personal values’ and told investigators he had made ‘an honest mistake’ at the boozy summer party last year.
The married father-of-two, who is a training chief for NATO and British forces and previously helped lead the alliance’s counter-ISIS efforts, denies a charge of sexual assault.
In an interview with military police, Goodwin is said to have remarked: ‘I don’t always dance but I was in the mood for dancing and that night I danced with a lot of different people.
‘My recollection of the incident is that she has a tendency to really come in close, I genuinely thought she was coming in for a kiss and I gave her a kiss. There was lots of mention of me sticking my tongue down her throat. I didn’t do that, I don’t even do that to my wife.’
Wing Commander Jolyon Goodwin, one of the British air force’s top brass within the international defence organisation
Graham Coombes, prosecuting, said the pair both worked as part of Allied Air Command.
The female officer told the court how she had been the ‘plus one’ of another RAF officer at the 80s and 90s themed British Community Summer Party and knew of Wing Commander Goodwin.
In a video interview played to the court, she said: ‘After dinner that night I spent most of my time on the dancefloor. I had been drinking so much that I didn’t want to have any conversation.
‘I wasn’t on the dancefloor at the time it happened, I was in the dining area. He left the dancefloor with a smile on his face and walked up to me. He took my face in his hands with one on each cheek and he stuck his tongue in my mouth. I was taken aback, I did not kiss him back, it is not something that I wanted and I pushed him away.’
The court martial was told that she told married Goodwin ‘in no uncertain words’ to ‘f*** off.’
Graham Coombes, prosecuting, said the pair both worked as part of Allied Air Command (stock image)
She continued: ‘I was shocked, I pushed him away, it was not hard I just wanted him to get away from me.’
The following day she told a friend: ‘Jo tried to stick his tongue down my throat last night but I dealt with it.’
She heard from a colleague that Goodwin had been confronted about his behaviour at work early the following week by a fellow officer.
The court was told that Goodwin replied: ‘F***ing hell, I get like this when I am drinking, I have to stop drinking I am f***ing my life up.’
An investigation began at the Ramstein base and Wing Commander Goodwin gave his account of what happened. He told investigating officers that he and the complainant had been dancing together and she later leaned in towards him, so he kissed her.
Mr Coombes said that Goodwin’s intent was clearly sexual. He told the court martial panel: ‘The prosecution invites you to find that putting his tongue in her mouth was clearly sexual, that the complainant did not consent and that the accused did not reasonably believe that she consented to that.’
Goodwin’s wife had collapsed through heatstroke following an Iron Man race and he had been reluctant to leave her on the night in July last year.
But he felt obliged to attend the ball at the Kaiserslautern football stadium because of his senior position.
He was surprised by the complainant’s reaction to his kiss, he told the court. ‘I remember thinking ‘whoa I absolutely got this wrong’ the Wing Commander said. ‘It was an honest mistake, I misread her values and that was that.’
Goodwin said in interview: ‘She was looking at me intently. She has a tendency to look at you in a really intense way. I find it quite strange in some ways, I am absolutely dumbfounded by the whole thing. This was something that led me to think she was leaning in for a kiss.’
Goodwin, originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, said the complainant in the case had been drinking and was ‘bouncing and jumping around.’
The trial is due to conclude today.