Army NCO ‘offered recruit visa in return for sex’

AN ARMY recruitment sergeant told one of his alleged rape victims he could help her secure a visa from the Home Office before attacking her, a court heard.
Mee allegedly pestered the woman for sex before raping her. Picture: PAMee allegedly pestered the woman for sex before raping her. Picture: PA
Mee allegedly pestered the woman for sex before raping her. Picture: PA

Edwin “Jock” Mee, 46, allegedly isolated the 18-year-old, originally from Sierra Leone, before pouncing on her.

The Scottish NCO is accused of carrying out sex attacks on 11 victims as young as 15 while working at an army careers centre in Croydon, south London, between 2010 and 2011.

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One woman told Southwark Crown Court that Mee had been helping her with joining the army and that she saw him as a father figure.

Jurors heard that Mee repeatedly asked the then 18-year-old if she wanted to have sex with him, something which she initially ignored, but later explicitly told him she did not want to do.

Prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC asked the woman why she did not tell any of the other recruiters what was going on.

Given evidence from behind a screen, the woman replied: “He always told me not to say anything to anyone because no-one will believe me and looking at him, and his status, all these things, I believed him.”

The court heard that on one occasion when she went to see Mee, he slapped her bottom as she left the office and she told him “never do that”.

Describing the alleged rape, the woman said she had gone in for her final interview in August 2011 before the army selection procedure.

She said that the time had also come for her renew her visa with the Home Office and that before she saw Mee that day, she was not aware of any problems with her application.

But she continued: “He (Mee) said there was a delay for me to pay the money, that if the visa didn’t come then I couldn’t go for selection and my date was already fixed.

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“He told me he could help me. He told me that because I needed to go to selection and my passport was with the Home Office, he was going to help and I said, ‘How are you going to do that?’. He just said, ‘A call that I can make’, and I said, ‘Why don’t you do it?’.

“He said, ‘You know what you can do that will make me do it’.”

The court heard that Mee then told the woman to wait for the “boss” who was going to conduct her interview.

But he returned a short time later. Dressed in his army uniform, Mee allegedly spoke again to the woman about her selection procedure and the fact her passport was with the Home Office, before leaving her waiting alone again. The woman said: “He came back and sat; he started asking me if I was going to have sex with him.”

Jurors heard that she told Mee “no” and that she was simply there to see the boss, still believing that there were other people in the recruitment office.

When he asked her for sex again, he allegedly said that no-one would ever know, and later revealed that there was nobody left in the office. The woman told the court Mee then attacked her.

Mee, of Croydon, denies 17 counts of sexual assault, three rapes and one count of assault. The trial continues.