Claim female Army instructor punched recruits and called them b*****s'

A British Army instructor told young recruits, “You’re mine now, bitches” before asking, “Who thinks they’re the toughest?” and then they beat those who claimed it was them who heard a court-martial.

Corporal Kimberley Hey ordered teenage trainees who answered incorrectly questions on tests to raise their arms and loosen their belt buckles before punching them in the stomach.

The 34-year-old, who has boxed throughout her army career, regularly hit soldiers half her age, and anyone under the age of 18, during training.

The court heard that a young male soldier was hit in the stomach so hard that he became “over-excited” and began to cry.

But Cpl Hey insists that her actions were “banter” and amounted to a “connection” with her comrades.

The Bulford Military Court, Wilts, heard that Cpl Hey was serving as part of the director’s staff at Army Foundation College Harrogate, North Yorks.

Young soldiers are trained at AFC Harrogate for around six months, divided into three semesters of around six weeks.

One intern told Judge-Martial Hey that shortly after they arrived, she told new recruits that she was responsible for “You belong now, you bitch.”

Beacon Hannah Harwood, who testified via video link from the Falkland Islands, spoke of several incidents that occurred on the “Company Line” – a line that ran along a corridor along the base where recruits would line up.

She said, “Cpl Hey addressed the train at the beginning of the first semester when we first arrived.

“We all stood on the company lines in the corridor.

“She said something like, ‘You’re mine now, b ***** s’.

“At the beginning of the second semester, Cpl Hey turned to the train again. She asked us, ‘Who thinks they’re the toughest?’

“Three people raised their hands and Cpl Hey hit them all in the stomach.

“Cpl Hey walked up to him (a recruit raised his hand) and hit him, and I saw him land in his stomach out of the corner of my eye – it was a quick, powerful punch.

“When she was in a bad mood, she would hit us. She hit me once … just a quick stab in my stomach.

“I didn’t have a warning, but I saw it happen to others, so I expected it and she didn’t hit me as hard as the men.”

Another incident occurred early in their third term at AFC Harrogate – when Cpl Hey just “went up the ranks and started beating people.”

Signaller Harwood added, “There was one event that stood out in his third term … Cpl Hey hit (another male apprentice) and got him to the point of crying.

“It was the beginning of the third semester and she just went up the line and started beating people.

“I’ve been away a few people [from one recruit]. Cpl Hey told him to keep his arms behind his back and not flinch.

“(He) started crying and I think Cpl Hey felt really bad after that as she was very apologetic.

“After the fainting parade, Cpl Hey spoke to us again during the last speeches before we left while we were on the line.

“She said, ‘I’m going to hit you all one last time,’ and she hit a few people.”

The Prosecutor, Wing Commander Michael Saunders stated that Cpl Hey would “deliver” punches in the stomach if soldiers asked the wrong questions.

Wg Cdr Saunders said, “Cpl Hey was an instructor at AFC Harrogate for the relevant period.

“The soldiers were all under 18 at the time and had been with Harrogate AFC for approximately six months.

“Cpl Hey would often punch in the stomach as a punishment for getting an incorrect answer on a test.

“She called her to a line down the corridor, paced the corridor, occasionally asking her to loosen her belt buckle before meeting her.

“Cpl Hey has nothing to do with acting like that.”

Craftsman Joseph Wiggin told the court that Cpl Hey beat “everyone on the train” on his first day of training – when he was just 16 years old – but insisted that this was part of the “bond” on the train.

Cfn Wiggin said: “The train was called on the line on the first day of training.

“Our section was at stake and we were all beaten. There was no malice behind it – it was more of a kind of bond issue.”

Craftsman Jonathan Bryan told the court, “Cpl Hey stabbed me in the stomach once. (She) was strict but fair.”

Cpl Hey, from 3rd Regiment Royal Logistics Corps, denies eight battery counts with five junior soldiers,

The process continues.

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