BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 17:43 GMT
Army sex refusal 'led to misery'
Bombardier Kerry Fletcher
Miss Fletcher has been in the Army for 10 years
A sergeant made a lesbian soldier's life "an absolute misery" after she refused to have sex with him, an employment tribunal has heard.

Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher, 31, from Birmingham, claims she was picked on because of her sexual orientation.

She said she was humiliated at the army stables in North Yorkshire where she worked after she ignored explicit text messages from the sergeant.

She said friends in the regiment were warned to keep their distance from her.

'Felt victimised'

The Ministry of Defence has accused Miss Fletcher of turning up to work late, not following correct administrative procedures and having "an attitude".

He made such an issue of everything I did... all because I didn't take him up on his offers
Kerry Fletcher

Miss Fletcher told the hearing in Leeds that said she had refused to respond to the messages and did not speak to him about it in person because she was too embarrassed.

She said: "The treatment got worse because he didn't get me to do what he wanted sexually.

"He made such an issue of everything that I did. He reacted differently after those texts and it was all because I didn't take him up on his offers."

The tribunal heard how one of Ms Fletcher's friends, a bombardier, was warned by the sergeant not to be too "over familiar" with her after she sent him a text message with a kiss at the end.

The married bombardier was told it could be "dangerous" for his wife to see the message, the tribunal heard.

Miss Fletcher said: "[The bombardier] said to me afterwards, 'we can't be friends anymore'."

She rejected criticisms of her made by Ashley Serr, from the MoD, including one that she had turned up late for work.

She said: "I felt victimised. I may have been in the wrong on some occasions but they were only very minor.

"It's not very often that you're punished for that. Every time that I was slipping up they were just getting me for it."

Miss Fletcher, who is originally from Sheffield, has been in the Army for 10 years.

She alleges sex discrimination and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

The tribunal continues.

Soldier 'offered sex' to lesbian
08 Nov 07 |  North Yorkshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific