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Last Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007, 18:01 GMT
Chief Petty Officer raped rating
HMS Nelson
Coates appeared at a court martial at HMS Nelson
A Royal Navy petty officer has been found guilty of raping a female colleague on board a warship.

Chief Petty Officer Phillip Coates, 30, from Devon, was found guilty of raping the 24-year-old rating while at sea in the Mediterranean last year.

Coates had told a court martial at HMS Nelson, Portsmouth, he had consensual sex with his colleague.

This is believed to be the first time a navy CPO has been prosecuted for raping a female sailor.

The court martial heard how the married medical assistant had followed his victim into a small room on the ship after kissing on the ship's quarterdeck during a barbecue.

Therapy session

Coates had removed the woman's clothes before raping her on a bunk.

The following day, the victim had been found in a "visibly distressed state" and "sobbing her heart out", the court martial was told.

Medical examinations after the initial report found she had minor bruising and some injuries and had a blood alcohol level more than twice the drink drive limit.

But it was not until two months after the attack, when the victim attended a therapy session, using a controversial psychotherapy technique called Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, that she recalled details of the assault.

Coates, who had only been married for eight months, was arrested shortly afterwards.

Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett told Coates he faced a lengthy custodial sentence when he is sentenced on Wednesday.

Sex consensual says navy sailor
08 Mar 07 |  Hampshire
Sailor 'recalled rape in therapy'
07 Mar 07 |  Hampshire
Rape trial for navy petty officer
05 Mar 07 |  Hampshire

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