Spanking scandal hits Australian navy

2011-11-30 13:30
Sydney - A senior Australian naval officer has pleaded not guilty to charges of spanking a junior female sailor, with a court martial on Wednesday hearing it was a test to see how obedient she was.

Lieutenant Commander John Jones is facing nine counts of indecent acts without consent, five of assaulting a subordinate, nine of prejudicial behaviour, and one count of attempting to destroy defence force property.

The charges relate to incidents which allegedly occurred between February 1 and November 10 2010 while he was serving on a supply ship.

‘Bare buttocks smacked’

Jones pleaded not guilty to all of the charges apart from the accusation of attempting to destroy defence force property which he admitted.

According to documents tendered to the court, two of the incidents involved the young female sailor allegedly lying across Jones' lap and him smacking her bare buttocks.

The prosecution claims the woman never gave consent and the incidents amount to criminal behaviour.

Prosecutor Flight Lieutenant Steven Whybrow told the court martial that Jones admitted to some of the behaviour he is accused of but does not concede it was non-consensual or that it amounted to an indecent act.

In his opening address, Whybrow said Jones had taken the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, "under his wing", Australian Associated Press reported.

"That turned sinister around February 2010," he told the court, in reference to the date of the start of the alleged offences.

Reputation of sexism, drunkenness

The court martial was to hear a secret recording the sailor made in November 2010, in which Whybrow said Jones told the woman he was trying to instruct her in discipline.

"It was more of a test to see how disciplined and compliant you were going to be," he said on the tape, AAP reported.

The trial continues.

Australia's military has gained an unwanted reputation for having a drinking and sexist culture, underscored in a recent 400-page report about incidents on the supply ship HMAS Success in 2009.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    australia  |  gender rights publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Debate over Lancaster rages on
US Eagles ready to take off
Samoan duo in hot water
Magic mile spurs on Springboks
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.