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Bournemouth Daily Echo
Saturday 17th March 2012
By Stephen Bailey
AN INQUEST heard that a Dorset soldier, who was a ‘nervous wreck’ from work pressure, hanged herself days after finding out on Facebook that her ex-boyfriend had another partner.
Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement, 30, was a military policewoman based at Bulford who died on October 9, Salisbury Coroners’ Court heard yesterday.
Anne-Marie had previously reported being raped by two soldiers while based in Germany.
Her sister Sharon Hardy, from Muscliff, told the Echo after the inquest: “I have complete admiration for the armed forces.
“However, if the Royal Military Police have failed in the duty of care I expect the people responsible to be held to account.”
Anne-Marie grew up in Christchurch and Muscliff before joining the army in 2006.
The inquest heard she had been working 80-hour weeks at Bulford-based 158 Provost Company and had been given a shift management role as an acting sergeant.
She had a week off work for stress in September 2011.
Lance Corporal Rachael Percival said in a statement that Anne-Marie felt some people ‘belittled’ her and ‘made her life hell’.
“She had low self-esteem and often took things to heart,” said the statement. “She always seemed to have lots of work and it always seemed to be time pressured.”
Lance Corporal Percival said on at least three occasions Anne-Marie was phoned about work while she was off sick.
The statement described her as a ‘nervous wreck’.
Statements from colleagues and family said Anne-Marie was on anti-depressants and was desperate to settle down and have children.
Sharon Hardy read: “I do know Anne-Marie never recovered from being raped.”
Anne-Marie was found hanged from a scarf on a fire escape outside her accommodation block.
She had written ‘I’m sorry’ in lipstick on a bedroom mirror.
Former second-in-command Captain Sean Kimber said he believed she chosen to work extra hours in her own time out of a sense of duty.
He said she was a very competent investigator but found the supervising role challenging, and that she felt she ‘could do no right’ under her staff sergeant.
Ex-boyfriend Robert Neal from 104 Force Support Battalion said she wanted a long term relationship but he did not and he ended the relationship after three weeks.
She sent him upset and angry texts on the day she died.
Coroner Ian Singleton said she had been ‘under a number of pressures’ and he believed the end of the relationship was ‘the final straw’. He ruled that she took her own life.