Lesbian Army captain accused of abusing rank over relationship

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A lesbian Army captain has been accused of abusing her rank by having an relationship with a soldier under her command.

Captain Karen Tait, 29, and Sergeant Caroline Graham, 35, were disciplined and sent home after Army chiefs discovered their fling in 2009.

The pair, who served in the fourth Military Police 160 Provost Company, admitted meeting for sex before they were deployed to Helmand Province but said they put the relationship on hold while on duty.

Capt Tait claims that supervisors stripped her of her warrant card and banned her from attending the memorial services of colleagues killed in action because they objected to her sexuality.

She is claiming sexuality discrimination against the Ministry of Defence at a hearing at the London Central Employment Tribunal.

According to the Daily Mail, Army chiefs say that she changed leave rotas to give her and Sgt Graham time off together and also accused the pair of over-familiarity when sharing a tent.

Sgt Graham said the pair had never been alone together while deployed.

Capt Tait told the hearing that she knew of straight couples in the unit who had not been disciplined.

She is also suing her commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Deborah Poneskis, personally for sexuality discrimination and argues that her promotion prospects have been damaged.

Capt Tait has since been told that her contract with the Army will not be renewed when it expires in 2013.

She was eventually allowed to attend a memorial service for her killed colleagues, although Major Joe Walker, who investigated the allegations around Capt Tait, said that other soldiers had refused to walk in the parade if she was present.

The hearing continues.