Army instructor accused of alleged Ipswich rape was ‘widely respected’, court told

Police tape at the site of the alleged attempted rape in Rope Walk, Ipswich

Police tape at the site of the alleged attempted rape in Rope Walk, Ipswich - Credit: Lucy taylor

An army diving instructor accused of attempting to rape a 21-year-old student after allegedly stalking her as she walked home after a night out in Ipswich has been described by senior officers as “highly professional and widely respected”.

Lieutanant-Colonel B. Lennox, of the Corps of a Royal Engineers described 32-year-old Adam Bonner, who is based at Rock Barracks near Woodbridge as “an excellent role model” for younger soldiers.

He said Bonner was “highly professional and competent” and was “widely respected”.

In a letter read to Ipswich Crown Court he also said Bonner had a calm and good natured personality and he had never seen him violent or angry.Captain Anthony Peck said Bonner had served in the Army for 15 years and had a clear disciplinary record.

He said he had shared a flat in London for a year with Bonner and had never seen him act inappropriately towards women while they were out together.

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He described him as “professional, honest, good natured, amiable and polite” and said he was devoted to his family.

The court also heard three other character references from friends and colleagues who described Bonner as “polite and considerate.” Bonner, of Ipswich Close, Sutton Heath, Woodbridge, has denied attempting to rape the woman and an alternative charge of sexually assaulting her.

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Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, has told the court the alleged victim had left the Vodka Rev bar in Dogs Head Street at 1.50am on October 10 and was walking home alone along Rope Walk when she was grabbed by a stranger.

“She was attacked with force and was touched and we say more would have happened by force if not for the intervention of police officers who were called by witnesses who heard the incident,”alleged Mr Thompson.

He claimed that when the woman tried to use her phone Bonner had thrown it into undergrowth and at one stage he had put a hoodie over her mouth to stop her making any noise.

Giving evidence Bonner said he had been out on the night in question with Army colleagues and had been “really drunk”.

He said he did not have a clear recollection of what happened that night but said he hadn’t sexually assaulted the woman or tried to rape her. He said he could recall he and the woman flirting and having a consensual kiss.

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdicts on Monday.

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