Army captain accused of sexually assaulting woman “without her knowledge”

An army captain who was due to be posted in Afghanistan has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman without her knowledge or consent. <--break->“></p>

<p>Matthew Horrocks, 26, the army captain charged with the offence, listened intently while defence witnesses gave their evidence at Kingston Crown Court yesterday.</p>

<p>Caroline Louise Utton, a psychologist at the Royal Beckenham Hospital, had been with the group that included Capt Horrocks and the alleged victim on 22 January 2010, the evening of the alleged incident. </p>

<p>She said: “They seemed to be flirting, touching knees, they were turned in toward each other and talking. It looked like they liked each other.” She added: “It looked like they might go home together, that there might be some sort of intimate relationship.”</p>

<p>Miss Utton, Emily Arthur (Capt Horrocks’ cousin), and their boyfriends had intended to meet Mr Horrocks at Belgo in Clapham to say goodbye to Capt Horrocks before he left for Afghanistan, but were disappointed when he turned up with a male friend and three young women and proceeded to flirt with each other rather than chat to his friends.</p>

<p>Miss Utton said: “He was going to be posted to Afghanistan and we wanted to see him before he went.”</p>

<p>When defence counsel, Mr Benn Maguire, asked the witness if she thought he was capable of: “sexual relations with a young woman without her knowledge”, Miss Utton replied: “I have never heard anyone accuse him of anything like that.”</p>

<p>Lucian Nathaniel Warran, 25, a chartered accountant at Price Waterhouse Coopers, was also at Belgo that evening and said the girls – three medical students – were: “Acting like giggly school girls.” </p>

<p>Hatty Day, 27, an advertising account director and ex girlfriend of Mr Horrocks described Capt Horrocks as: “Gentle, caring and protective. He was always there for advice and support.” She said it was not possible for him to have committed the sexual assault. </p>

<p>Capt Horrocks denies the charge. The case, presided over by Judge Hunter, continues tomorrow.</p>

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