Married RAF chief accused of trying to force his tongue down a female NATO officer’s throat at boozy fancy dress summer ball is cleared of sex assault… but is told by judge to ‘tread carefully where alcohol is in abundance’
A married RAF chief has today been cleared of forcing his tongue into the mouth of a fellow NATO officer – but was warned by a judge ‘tread carefully where alcohol is in abundance.’
Wing Commander Jolyon Goodwin admitted kissing the Scandinavian officer on the lips, claiming he ‘misread her values’ when she reacted angrily and pushed him away.
However, the Royal Air Force chief denied sexually assaulting his colleague at a fancy dress party at Kaiserslautern football stadium near Allied Air Command HQ at Ramstein air base.
The female officer told a military court in Sennelager, Germany how she had been the ‘plus one’ of another RAF officer at the 80s and 90s themed British Community Summer Party.
The woman said that Goodwin approached her with a grin as he walked from the dancefloor, took her face in his hands and pushed his tongue into her mouth. She said his actions disgusted her to the extent that she had a vivid physical recollection of the incident whenever she thought about it.
The highly decorated Wing Commander – a leading figure in the battle against ISIS – said that the woman ‘leant in’ to him and that she consented to the kiss on the lips, which was not sexual and did not involve his tongue. He told the military court it was the type of kiss ‘you would give a friend’s wife’ and said he had done so on numerous occasions.
After deliberating for two-and-a-half hours, the court martial cleared Goodwin of sexual assault.
Wing Commander Jolyon Goodwin admitted kissing the Scandinavian officer on the lips, claiming he ‘misread her values’ when she reacted angrily and pushed him away
Judge Advocate Edward Legard told him: ‘You are now free to rejoin your unit. This last year or so has not been easy for the complainant or for yourself. I hope this verdict will help you recalibrate the challenges in your professional and personal life.
‘One word of warning from the bench. Tread carefully please in future, particularly where alcohol is in abundance.’
The court heard the woman served alongside Goodwin with NATO Allied Command and had reached a high rank with her own nation, one of the 31 which makes up the world’s most powerful military alliance.
Wing Commander Goodwin is a training chief for NATO and British forces, currently serving as branch head of the organisation’s ‘Lessons Learned’ protocol. In an illustrious career he has in the past been the officer commanding the RAF’s resilience wing and also led a team of specialists in electronic warfare in support of NATO’s counter-Isis efforts.
He told the court he was embedded with US forces as they struck Isis targets in areas where civilians lived nearby.
The experience, he said, left him considering whether to seek support when he returned home, something he did not do.
In a video interview played to the court, she said: ‘After dinner that night I spent most of my time on the dancefloor. People had been drinking so much that I didn’t want to have any conversation. I wasn’t on the dancefloor at the time it happened, I was in the dining area.
‘He left the dancefloor with a smile on his face and walked up to me. He took my face in his hands with one on each cheek and he stuck his tongue in my mouth. I was taken aback, I did not kiss him back, it is not something that I wanted and I pushed him away.’
The court heard the pair both worked as part of Allied Air Command (stock image)
The court was told that she told him ‘in no uncertain words’ to ‘f*** off.’
The court was told that when Goodwin was confronted about the incident by a colleague he replied: ‘F***ing hell, I get like this when I am drinking, I have to stop drinking I am f***ing my life up.’
An investigation began at the Ramstein base and Wing Commander Goodwin gave his account of what happened.
In interview with a Military Police officer, Wing Commander Goodwin said: ‘I don’t always dance but I was in the mood for dancing and hat night I danced with a lot of different people.
‘My recollection of the incident is that she has a tendency to really come in close, I genuinely thought she was coming in for a kiss and I gave her a kiss. There was lots of mention of me sticking my tongue down her throat. I didn’t do that, I don’t even do that to my wife.’
Wing Commander Goodwin’s wife had collapsed through heatstroke following an Iron Man race and he had been reluctant to leave her on the night of July 8th last year. But he felt obliged to attend the ball at the Kaiserslautern football stadium because he was president of the mess committee.
He was surprised by the captain’s reaction to his kiss, he told the court.
‘I remember thinking ‘whoa I absolutely got this wrong’ the Wing Commander said. ‘It was an honest mistake, I misread her values and that was that.’
He said the female officer, who also holds a key role in NATO, had looked at him intensely.
Goodwin said in interview: ‘She was looking at me intently. She has a tendency to look at you in a really intense way. I find it quite strange in some ways, I am absolutely dumbfounded by the whole thing.
‘This was something that led me to think she was leaning in for a kiss. Stuff was just happening and she was right in my face and I just thought ‘OK, mwah.’ She said’ what are you doing?’ and I said ‘I don’t know, sorry.’ It was just a stupid moment. The kiss was on the lips and it was just a ‘mwah.’
‘It was the sort of kiss you would give your mate’s wife who you know quite well. I realised she had taken it in a completely different to how I intended it.’
He claimed ‘she was drunk’ and said the officer had ‘misremembered the event.’
Goodwin, originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, said the complainant had been drinking and was ‘bouncing and jumping around.’
He told the court he had previously danced with the wife of a Squadron Leader, who was dressed as Luke Skywalker at the fancy dress bash.
He said: ‘We were running around whacking each other with light sabers. Until this incident it was a great night.’
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