Soldier facing jail after barrack sex attack

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A DISGRACED soldier was facing jail and dismissal from the Army today after he was convicted of a barrack room sex attack on a male comrade.
Josefata Tavai pulled his victim's T-shirt over his head and pulled down his trousers during the indecent assault at a toilet at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh.

Tavai, 30, had taken part in a drinking session before attacking his fellow soldier who told a court he was too drunk to defend himself properly.

The Fijian national had denied the sex attack at the barracks on 15 June in 2006 during a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, but was found guilty by a majority of the jury.

After the verdict was announced advocate depute Derek Ogg QC revealed that Tavai, of the 9 Regiment Army Air Corps, based at Dishforth, in Yorkshire, had previously stood trial on sexual assault charges against three males in the military in England, but was acquitted.

Temporary judge Roger Craik QC told Tavai: "I have to tell you that given the nature of the conviction a sentence of imprisonment is inevitable."

The victim told the court that he was part of an Army display team which toured the country putting on shows as part of a recruitment drive.

In June 2006 he was based at Redford Barracks for five days and after finishing a final display he went with colleagues to a pub in Edinburgh's Colinton Village for drinks.

The drinking continued when they returned to barracks with others joining in, he said.

He said: "I got talking to a Fijian lad. He had a bottle of white rum and we shared some of that. He started coming onto me, being a bit touchy-feely, hinting towards things of a sexual nature."

The 24-year-old former soldier added: "I felt uncomfortable. I am straight."

He said that Tavai told him he wanted to have sex with him. He added: "I left the party and went downstairs and outside to have a cigarette. It is a bit blank after that.

"My next memory is being in the toilet. I remember being restrained and pushed against a sink. My T-shirt was pulled over my head. I thought I was going to get beat up," he said.

He said he was too to drunk to defend himself properly and it was later found his alcohol count was nearly four times the legal driving limit.

The victim said he was fondled and sexually assaulted and passed out.

His next memory was of being supported as he was helped to the guard room.

He told the court: "I was shocked, emotional and angry. I kept on saying 'I'll kill him. I have just been raped'. I was in agony. I was crying."

He said that he understood his attacker had later been traced through "a DNA hit".

The ex-soldier was critical of the way the Army dealt with the incident. He said: "I was given one week's leave – one week to get over it and get back to work."

He said he hit the bottle at one stage and felt he could no longer stay in the Forces.

The man, who now works in a plumbing store, said he still suffered effects from the attack. He could not stand being touched which made his relationship with his girlfriend very difficult.

He said that his stomach turned if he saw two men holding hands although previously he never had problems with gays.

Tavai maintained that he was innocent of the offence and said: "I am not a person who is violent. I am not capable of doing something like that."

But he could give no explanation for his DNA being found on the victim.
Sentence was deferred on Tavai for the preparation of a background report and he was remanded in custody. He was also placed on the sex offenders' register.

Sounds like jail's going to be a breeze for Mr Tavai!

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