Female Royal Navy officer left with facial injuries after brawl at a top secret base was 'being
The female Royal Navy officer left with facial injuries following a fight at a top secret base was allegedly being bullied over whether women should be allowed to serve on submarines.
The Mail on Sunday reports that an investigation into the attack on Lieutenant Kathleen Bartlett – named for the first time today – is focusing on claims that three male officers were mocking her moments before the violence erupted at the Faslane naval dockyard in Scotland.
Lt Bartlett required medical attention after apparently being elbowed in the face by a colleague who is now at the centre of a Royal Navy police investigation.
Two junior seamen who remonstrated with the officers allegedly mocking Lt Bartlett were also attacked. According to Navy sources, one of them was head-butted.
Despite concerns about the risk of sex scandals, the ban on women serving on board nuclear submarines was lifted in 2011. The first female officers joined crews two years later.
Colleagues of Lt Bartlett last night described her service record as ‘impeccable’. One Navy source said: ‘Kat is a brilliant young officer who serves as the “casing officer” aboard HMS Artful. This is an engineering role.
It comes with great responsibility and she has proved herself time and again. Those who mocked her should be ashamed of themselves.’
Lt Bartlett, who graduated from Southampton University in 2014, has told her family about the incident but has sought to play it down. Her sister, Deborah Bartlett, 27, said the matter – which is believed to have taken place around a fortnight ago – was ‘being handled by Navy police’.
The three male officers, who could face being kicked out of the Royal Navy, are understood to belong to the crew of a rival submarine, HMS Ambush. Military detectives are studying CCTV footage of the quayside brawl as part of their inquiries.
Last night the Ministry of Defence said it would be inappropriate to comment. A spokesman for the Royal Navy, which has repeatedly refused to provide basic information about when and where the fight took place and the ranks of those involved, said: ‘We can confirm that the Royal Naval Police are investigating an alleged incident involving members of a Scottish-based unit.’
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My view: This is terrible, women/men should be able to do their work in a safe environment.