Trainee Army officer sacked after lurking in female trainee's bedroom

Trainee Army officer, 21, is sacked for repeatedly hiding behind female cadet’s bed to spy on her naked when she came back from the shower at Sandhurst

  • Hector Orrell, 21, lurked behind colleague’s bed at Sandhurst Military Academy
  • Orrell also pushed his groin against his fellow trainee and another female cadet
  • Orrell pleaded guilty to four charges of disgraceful conduct of an indecent kind
  • He was dismissed from the army and ordered to pay £750 to each of his victims

A disgraced trainee Army officer who was caught repeatedly hiding in a female cadet’s room in order to spy on her as she returned from the shower has been sacked.

Hector Orrell, 21, was found to have lurked five times behind the woman’s bed at the world famous Sandhurst military academy in Surrey.

A court martial heard Orell, whose father and grandfather both served in the Army, also pushed his groin against the legs of his fellow trainee and another female cadet as they queued for lunch in the canteen. 

Bulford Military Court, Wilts, heard that on two occasions in September 2019, the then Officer Cadet Orrell behaved ‘disgracefully’ towards the two unnamed women in the lunch queue.  

In one instance, the court heard that he ‘touched (his victim’s) lower back and pushed his groin against her leg’.

That same month, he again acted inappropriately with the same woman as they exited a busy lecture theatre.

Hector Orrell, 21, was found to have lurked five times behind the woman’s bed at the world famous Sandhurst military academy in Surrey (pictured)

The court heard that he harassed the other woman he touched in the canteen by hiding in her room on five separate occasions, waiting for her to return naked from the bathroom.

Wing Commander Michael Saunders, prosecuting, said: ‘Sat in a position behind her bed, he (Orrell) hid until she returned in a towel and didn’t make his presence known which caused her alarm. 

‘Both victims say they suffered distress as a result… bearing in mind that it was a stressful time in any event to be in training and this conduct added to their distress.’

The two women reported the matter at the time to their chain of command, but Mr Orrell was only given a warning.

It was not until a year later that it was picked up by a new chain of command and brought to the attention of military police.

Speaking to the court via videolink, Mr Orrell claimed that he was a ‘naive and immature’ 19 year old at the time of the offences.

Orrell admitted his behaviour was the ‘worst thing he had ever done’.

He also expressed dismay that he had sabotaged his lifelong ambition to follow his father and grandfather into the British Army.

He said: ‘Before joining (Sandhurst) everything in life had come relatively easy to me. I wasn’t ready for Sandhurst when I joined.

‘I did many actions that I otherwise wouldn’t have done. The actions that have been brought up here in court are the most regretful actions I have ever done in my life.

‘I held no malicious intent with the way I behaved, it was pure stupidity.

Speaking to the court at Bulford Military Court in Wiltshire, via videolink, Mr Orrell claimed that he was a ‘naive and immature’ 19 year old at the time of the offences.

‘Since then I have made sure to treat women with the utmost respect that they deserve.

‘I’m very sorry for my actions. I always wanted to be a British Army officer and to follow in my father’s footsteps.’

Mr Logan, mitigating, said: ‘As far as Mr Orrell is concerned, he was born in Guildford to a military family and moved to South Africa where he currently lives at the age of two.

‘He did well at school, volunteering for his school and his local church, and after final exams came to the UK to fulfil his lifetime ambition of becoming an officer in the British Army and following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps.

‘He is extremely ashamed and sorry for the effect his behaviour has had on the two Officer Cadets.

‘It does seem that immaturity did play a large role in his behaviour at the time. He has grown up a lot since then and in the intervening period.

‘He does however realise how distressing and inappropriate that behaviour was and has urged upon me that that sort of behaviour will never be repeated.

‘One hopes he won’t be defined by the worst thing he has ever done.’

Orrell pleaded guilty to four separate charges of disgraceful conduct of an indecent kind.

Judge Advocate General Alan Large dismissed him from the army and ordered him to pay £750 in compensation to each of his victims.

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is located in Camberley on the Surrey Berkshire border and is where British Army officers are trained.

Both Prince William and Harry, Duke of Sussex attended the academy.

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