An army recruitment sergeant who served with the special forces in Iraq denied sexually attacking 11 female cadets, saying it “never happened” .
Edwin Mee, 46, is said to have abused his position of trust and power to abuse or rape 11 alleged victims while working at an army careers centre in Croydon, south-east London.
If it wasn’t for this mess, I’d still be in the armyEdwin 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.
Taking the witness box at London’s Southwark Crown Court, Mee told jurors about his military career, and firmly denied the allegations.
He spoke in a Glaswegian accent, often saying “Yes, ma’am”, and responding “Aye, sir”, when questioned by Judge Alistair McCreath.
He explained that his father had been an engineer in the Royal Navy, his mother an army nurse and that his stepbrothers had also been in the army.
Mee joined the army aged 24 and went on to serve tours of duty in Iraq, where he was attached to the special forces; Afghanistan, where he was attached to the Parachute Regiment; and Bosnia, jurors heard.
By the time the allegations against him came to light, he had acquired the rank of sergeant. He was suspended in 2011. The court was told that Mee was medically discharged from the army in April 2014.
Lisa Wilding QC, defending Mee, asked him how he felt about his time in the army.
He replied: “Everyone knows how I feel about the army. My family served in it. The army was my life, and if it wasn’t for all this mess, I would still be there.”
When arrested, Mee gave a prepared statement to police denying the allegations against him. Referring to one of the rape allegations, he said: “I have never raped any person in my life.”
He went on to deny each of the sexual assault allegations, saying, “I did not sexually assault any person”, when talking about each individual incident.
However, giving evidence, Mee conceded that he would often swear in the recruitment office and shouted at recruits, saying things like “I’ll rip your head off and shit down your throat”, despite such conduct not strictly being allowed.
“If someone missed an appointment, I would get them on the phone and bollock them,” said Mee.
He further admitted that he would often “threaten or intimidate” recruits because the army is not a nine to five job, and they needed to understand they could lose their lives.
But Mee also told jurors that he was “protective” over his candidates and felt that he was in the best position to help them, occasionally “cutting corners” to help them progress.
Mee, of Croydon, denies 17 counts of sexual assault, three rapes and one count of assault.