A 25-year-old Royal Navy officer who secretly filmed himself having sex with a female officer and put it on Snapchat so he could brag to his colleagues avoids jail but is ‘dismissed with disgrace’.
The female officer told the court she was horrified to learn ‘my naked, vulnerable body was broadcast’ after the 11 second clip was uploaded to Snapchat by Sub Lieutenant Scott Ewing.
Sub Lt Ewing, based at the prestigious Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC), commonly known as Dartmouth, was convicted of voyeurism, and ‘dismissed with disgrace’ from the Armed Forces.
The 25-year-old was given a three year service community order by Bulford Military Court in Wiltshire, and needs to take part in a sex offending programme and complete 100 hours of unpaid work.
He claimed that during sex he told her ‘the lads have got to see this’ and she gave him the go ahead by replying ‘do whatever you need’ but his version of events was rejected by the military court.
Sub Lt Ewing also said filming the female officer was about ‘proving to the guys that something happened… I was fluffing my feathers’ and that it made him ‘feel like a lad’ at the time.
The judge said he committed a ‘gross violation of trust’ for ‘bragging rights’.
The female officer told the court she was horrified to learn ‘my naked, vulnerable body was broadcast’ after the 11 second clip was uploaded to Snapchat by Sub Lieutenant Scott Ewing, pictured
The 11 seconds clip showed SLt Ewing, 25, turning to smile at the camera and making an ‘ok’ sign with his fingers while he had sex with her as she faced away from him.
Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor, sentencing, said: ‘She made it clear this was to remain private between you both.
‘Your friends had said you were out of your depth with her and you determined to have what you say were bragging rights.
‘This was a gross violation of the trust between service colleagues, both on a professional and personal level.’
The female officer told the judge after the footage was posted to an all-male group on the social media app, that such behaviour had become ‘casualised in laddish culture’ and she hoped this conviction would help put a stop to more crimes.
She read her victim impact statement to the court, saying Sub Lt Ewing was ‘dragging my name through the mud with him instead of owning up to his mistake’.
She added: ‘There are no winners here. I’m not a winner because my naked, vulnerable body was broadcast to my colleagues. Men I trained with every day.
‘Not one of them respected me enough to question whether or not that would be something I would agree to.
‘There is something utterly, utterly disheartening about the realisation that your peers, the people you thought you could trust the most, don’t have your back.
‘SLt Ewing told a courtroom about how attractive he found me, as if that was a justification of sorts. As if I was less good looking his friends would have believed him and he wouldn’t have needed to show them.’
Lieutenant Commander Ben Crouch, mitigating for Ewing, told the sentencing hearing: ‘He was young, naïve and lacked the perspective that age brings.
‘It was immature… These were not the actions of a seasoned voyeur or predator.
‘He is going to have to live with the burden of what he has done for the rest of his life.’
The 25-year-old was given a three year service community order by Bulford Military Court in Wiltshire, and needs to take part in a sex offending programme and complete 100 hours of unpaid work
During the trial, SLt Ewing said when he first met the female officer he immediately found her attractive and ‘took a fancy to her’.
The pair later exchanged ‘flirtatious’ messages and partially naked pictures on Facebook in the weeks leading up to the incident.
They then met at a bar near Dartmouth, in Devon, which is the naval academy of the United Kingdom and was attended by Prince Charles, Prince Philip and Prince William.
SLt Ewing admitted filming the sex in his cabin but claimed she had consented.
He said: ‘I then turned the camera round to my face, pulled a facial expression, stuck my tongue out, smiling, then made a gesture with my hand like ‘sweet, ok’.
‘It was proving to the guys that something happened… I was fluffing my feathers, showing off. Looking back it seems silly and immature but in that moment I just wanted to prove a point.
‘I was trying to come across as a lad, look what I did, and I got that response from them. [They said] fair play, he did it, well done.
‘At the time it made me feel like a lad. It made me feel cool, made me feel like I did something that the others thought was admirable.’
Ewing told the court his friends in the Snapchat group had previously made jokes about him being a ‘catfish’ – someone perceived to be better looking online than in person – and had said he had ‘no chance’ with the female officer because she was ‘out of his league’
He told the court his friends in the Snapchat group had previously made jokes about him being a ‘catfish’ – someone perceived to be better looking online than in person – and had said he had ‘no chance’ with the female officer because she was ‘out of his league’.
Lieutenant Commander Peter Barker, prosecuting, said: ‘The reason you make that gesture with your hands instead of saying anything is because you didn’t want her to know.
‘She was facing away with her head down, you are doing everything you can to make sure she doesn’t know what’s going on.
‘She says there was absolutely no consent. It was a spur of the moment, immature prank that went wrong.’
Asked how she would have reacted if there was any mention of the sex being recorded or shared, the female officer told the trial: ‘I never saw him holding a phone. He never mentioned recording having sex.
‘I would have got myself out of there as quickly as possible. That would not have been acceptable. That was never part of the deal.
‘When I found out, I was absolutely shocked.’