I did not slap bottoms, says accused Scots NCO

Former army sergeant Edwin Mee at Southwark Crown Court in London. Picture: PA
Former army sergeant Edwin Mee at Southwark Crown Court in London. Picture: PA
Have your say

An ARMY recruiting sergeant who is accused of a string of sex attacks on 11 cadets has denied claims that he was in the “habit” of smacking their bottoms as they left his office.

Edwin Mee, 46, allegedly abused his position of trust and power to molest or rape the women while working at an army careers centre in Croydon, south London.

There is no habit to slap anyone on the bottom

Edwin Mee

Known as Jock, the Scottish NCO allegedly carried out the attacks on women aged from 15 to their early twenties between October 2010 and September 2011.

A number of the women claim that Mee slapped their bottoms as they entered or exited rooms with him.

Referring to them, prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC asked if he felt this action gave him “power” over the army recruits. She continued: “It is a habit, isn’t it – to slap them on their bottoms?”

Mee replied: “No ma’am, there is no habit to slap anyone on the bottom.”

He also said he could not have got “sexual pleasure” from the acts because they “never” happened. One of the alleged victims claims the first time she saw Mee, he told her he had caught his wife cheating, and he asked her out for a coffee.

But he told jurors at London’s Southwark Crown Court yesterday that he would never have made this disclosure on the first meeting, and actually had no recollection of the cadet.

Ms Cottage asked: “This woman, who you met towards the end of 2010, who you met really only a couple of times, what is it that you could have said or done, and that she must have misinterpreted or lied about?”

Mee replied: “I don’t know because I don’t remember her.”

Ms Cottage then asked him if he had told the woman that he had caught his wife being unfaithful, to which the Glaswegian replied: “I cannae remember her, how can I remember whether I said that to her?”

Ms Cottage continued: “How would she know that you had caught your wife cheating, unless you told her?”

The accused responded: “I don’t know because I cannae remember her.”

When Ms Cottage put it to the witness whether the claimant had been “lying” about him telling her about his wife, about him asking to see her piercing, and about his asking her to go for coffee, he said: “Yes.”

“Is there any reason as to why, you would think, she would be wanting to lie about you in these ways?” asked Ms Cottage.

Mee replied: “No I cannae think of any other reason – maybe somebody should be asking her.”

The court has heard that Mee joined the army aged 24, and went on to serve tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When the allegations against him came to light he was suspended from the army in 2011 and medically discharged in April 2014.

He denies 17 counts of sexual assault, three rapes and one count of assault by penetration.

The trial continues.