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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Chaplain's payout over Navy porn
Rev Mark Sharpe
Rev Mark Sharpe: Complained about porn DVDs
A naval chaplain has won compensation from the Ministry of Defence after claiming sexual harassment aboard two Royal Navy warships.

The Rev Mark Sharpe, 37, of Hanley Rectory, Broad Heath, Worcestershire, said he had to leave because of pornography shown on board.

An undisclosed compensation sum was agreed at a Devon employment tribunal.

The Navy admitted sexual harassment but denied a claim of discrimination on religious grounds.

'Offensive and illegal'

The tribunal In Exeter heard that the chaplain started an Initial Sea Training course on assault ship HMS Albion in June 2004 but left after less than two weeks.

Mr Sharpe, a former police officer, said the main reason was the constant and public use of hardcore pornography and talk about sex among the course students on board.

He said he complained to the course staff but he was told "you need to learn to live with it".

He joined destroyer HMS Manchester in September 2004, leaving three weeks later after complaining of "offensive and illegal" porn DVDs shown on board.

He made formal complaints after leaving the ship.

'Lessons learned'

During the tribunal, the Navy claimed Mr Sharpe only raised complaints about pornography when he had decided to leave the service, for the reason that he was missing his wife and home.

After the settlement was reached, the MoD said the Admiralty Board had accepted that he was exposed to a degree of sexual harassment and an apology was given.

"The Royal Navy does not tolerate harassment or discrimination in any form.

"Lessons have been learned from Reverend Sharpe's case and a number of actions are being taken, including a review of the regulations on pornography."

The MoD would not comment on the details of the settlement.


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