RE­VEALED: The woman Navy off icer who was in­jured in nu­clear sub mass brawl

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Mark Ni­col

THE fe­male Royal Navy of­fi­cer left with fa­cial in­juries fol­low­ing a punch-up at a top se­cret base was al­legedly be­ing bul­lied over whether or not women should be al­lowed to serve on sub­marines.

The Mail on Sun­day un­der­stands that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the at­tack on Lieu­tenant Kath­leen Bartlett – named for the first time to­day – is fo­cus­ing on claims that three male of­fi­cers were mock­ing her mo­ments be­fore the vi­o­lence erupted at the Faslane naval base near He­lens­burgh, Dun­bar­ton­shire.

Lt Bartlett re­quired med­i­cal at­ten­tion af­ter ap­par­ently be­ing el­bowed in the face by a col­league who is now at the cen­tre of a Royal Naval Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Two ju­nior sea­men who re­mon­strated with the of­fi­cers al­legedly mock­ing Lt Bartlett were also at­tacked. Ac­cord­ing to Navy sources, one was head­but­ted.

De­spite con­cerns about the risk of sex scan­dals, the ban on women serv­ing on board sub­marines was lifted in 2011. The first fe­male of­fi­cers joined two years later.

Col­leagues of Lt Bartlett last night de­scribed her ser­vice record as ‘im­pec­ca­ble’.

One Navy source said: ‘Kat is a bril­liant young of­fi­cer who serves as the “cas­ing of­fi­cer” or CASO aboard HMS Art­ful.

‘This is an en­gi­neer­ing role. It comes with great re­spon­si­bil­ity and she has proved her­self time and again. Those who mocked her should be ashamed of them­selves.’

Lt Bartlett, who grad­u­ated from Southamp­ton Univer­sity in 2014, told her fam­ily about the in­ci­dent but has sought to play it down.

Her sis­ter, Deb­o­rah Bartlett, 27, said the mat­ter – be­lieved to have taken place a fort­night ago – was ‘be­ing han­dled by Navy po­lice’.

The three male of­fi­cers, who could face be­ing kicked out of the Royal Navy, are un­der­stood to be­long to the crew of a sec­ond sub­ma­rine, HMS Am­bush.

Mil­i­tary de­tec­tives are study­ing CCTV footage of the quay­side brawl as part of their in­quiries.

The Min­istry of De­fence said it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment on the mat­ter.

The Royal Navy has re­fused to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about when and where the fight took place and the ranks of those in­volved.

How­ever, a spokesman said: ‘We can con­firm that the Royal Naval Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing an al­leged in­ci­dent in­volv­ing members of a Scot­tish-based unit.’

HMS Am­bush was launched in 2011 and achieved no­to­ri­ety five years later off the coast of Gi­bral­tar when she crashed into a tanker, caus­ing £2.1 mil­lion of dam­age.

Com­man­der Justin Codd later pleaded guilty at a court mar­tial to ‘neg­li­gently haz­ard­ing’ the sub­ma­rine dur­ing a train­ing ex­er­cise.

In Oc­to­ber, nine sub­mariners from HMS Vig­i­lant, an­other sub based at Faslane, were booted out of the Navy af­ter fail­ing drug tests fol­low­ing ‘co­caine-fu­elled par­ties’ at a US naval base.

Two of Vig­i­lant’s com­mand­ing of­fi­cers have also found them­selves em­broiled in con­tro­versy due to sex­ual re­la­tion­ships with sub­or­di­nates.

Ear­lier this year, The Mail on Sun­day re­ported that six sailors had been ar­rested in Flor­ida for drunk and dis­or­derly be­hav­iour af­ter the first transat­lantic voy­age of HMS Queen El­iz­a­beth, Bri­tain’s £3 bil­lion Rosyth-built air­craft car­rier.

Po­lice used Tasers to ar­rest them af­ter a brawl in an Ir­ish bar.

‘BUL­LIED’:Lt Kath­leen Bartlett above, and left in dress uni­form, is de­scribed as a bril­liant young of­fi­cer

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.