Suffolk soldier cleared of sex assault in Ipswich
14:09 12 January 2016
A Suffolk soldier with a “glowing” military record has been cleared of sexually assaulting a student as she walked home from a night out in Ipswich.
Specialist army diver Adam Bonner, who is based at Rock Barracks near Woodbridge, had denied the charge and was found not guilty by a jury after a week long trial at Ipswich Crown Court.
During the trial Bonner, of Ipswich Close, Sutton Heath, told the court he had never been violent to a woman and wasn’t the kind of person who would attack and sexually assault a woman.
He claimed he had been “really drunk” but not paralytic after attending an army colleague’s leaving do and didn’t have a clear memory of what happened that night.
“I have blurred memories of what happened and just remember little bits,” said
Bonner, who is a sergeant in the Corps of Royal Engineers.
He said he had become separated from his friends and assumed he was lost when he ended up in Rope Walk, where the alleged attack took place, in the early hours of October 10 2014.
Bonner, a 33-year-old married father-of-two who has done tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, said he could remember sharing a mutual kiss with the alleged victim but denied having a “selective memory” of what happened.
When prosecution counsel Richard Kelly accused him of grabbing the 21-year-old student, forcing her to the ground, putting his jacket over her to silence her protests and putting his hand down the back of her trousers Bonner replied: “I don’t remember. I don’t think it happened. I would never do what you are saying. I’m not that person.”
Hugh Vass, for Bonner, who has been in the army since he was 17, read a number of character references to the court in which the allegations were described as out of character.
In the references from army officers and friends Bonner was described as having a “ glowing military record” and as being a widely respected soldier and a devoted family man.
The court heard that at the time of the alleged attack Bonner’s wife had recently been diagnosed with cancer.