Sydney, July 27 (ANI): In an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse on board HMAS Success, it has emerged that a naval petty officer, who had scolded a junior sailor for blatantly sexist language last year, was himself charged with misbehaviour after telling a female sailor he wanted to see her "breasts bounce."
Petty Officer Peter Warner, who was deployed on HMAS Success during its deployment to South East Asia and China, came close to confirming that there was a "bounty" on the heads of female sailors imposed by renegade male sailors.
Warner said that, sometime before April 15 last year, he was standing in a scran (meal) line when he heard Able Seaman (AB) Mark Leach saying there was a 200-dollar prize for the first sailor who could sleep with Seaman Shauna Utber.
"I said to AB Leach and the others that such talk was to stop immediately or it could wreck their careers," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Petty Officer Warner as saying.
Appearing before Roger Gyles, QC, in his inquiry into events on HMAS Success last year, Warner said he had mentioned the incident to another female sailer, Leading Seaman Brenda Freeman because he understood she was a leading hand in the female mess.
But he had not reported it to anyone else.
However, he had later confronted Leach, who had said that there was a tab on who was the first to sleep with Seaman Utber.
Petty Officer Warner said that when Leach had made the remark, there were up to 20 other sailors in the line.
The inquiry has heard that one of the sailors, Richard Goode, did in fact have consensual intercourse with Seaman Utber at a later time during the voyage.
Petty Officer Warner said that he had on another occasion during the voyage seen Leading Seaman Becky Fealy just get off a treadmill and he had said to her: "Run instead of walk so I can see your breasts bounce."
Chief Petty Officer Jason Thomas had heard him make the remark and had told him that sort of talk was to stop.
But he had gained the impression that Thomas was not "pulling me up" and was inclined to laugh about it.
He had later apologised to Fealy and he thought that she had accepted his apology but she had later made a complaint.
In March this year, he had pleaded guilty to a charge under the Defence Force Discipline Act of improper conduct.
The inquiry continues. (ANI)