Soldier Kerry Fletcher has had a colourful history with the military since joining up in 2006.
The Lance Bombardier, with the Territorial Army in Redditch, was the first female to join the prestigious King’s Troop, riding on the Queen’s birthday and Trooping the Colour.
In 1998, she was thrown out after being found naked in her barracks bed with an Australian policewoman.
At the time, homosexuality was not permitted in the Army. She denied being a lesbian in disciplinary proceedings but was warned about her conduct and posted to another unit.
In summer 2004 the soldier joined the 40th Regiment, Royal Artillery to work in the stables.
The tribunal had heard she allegedly texted a fellow lesbian soldier, Sergeant Louise Ashman, saying: ‘I feel randy.’
It was claimed the pair were seen fondling one another in the stables. But Miss Ashman insisted she was cuddling her friend.
Miss Fletcher was also said to have sent naked pictures of herself to male soldiers from her mobile phone and her open-top sports car bore the number plate T44RTX, to look like ‘TART X’.
She was in a relationship with police officer Pam Begbie from the Lothian and Borders force but said the affair ended due to the attentions of the staff sergeant.
Despite being open about her sexuality, she became a target for the staff sergeant, who would send text messages as well as making direct approaches.
Miss Fletcher told the tribunal: “I was panic-stricken and embarrassed. He was my boss. I thought this was completely out of my control. He suggested I have sex with him and his girlfriend.”
She told the tribunal after making official complaints her sports car had its roof slashed twice and was scratched with a key in spring 2006.
Miss Fletcher said fellow officers made her life a misery. She accused the Ministry of Defence of wrecking her career, saying she was determined to get fair compensation.
Following the judgment yesterday, she said: “I am delighted, over the moon because it has taken such a long time to achieve what I have achieved. I basically had to prove I was not lying and that was the most important thing – I am not a liar. What they have put me through has been awful. I never deserved it and am determined to get fair compensation for my career being ruined.”
Her solicitor John McKenzie said the payout was “sensational and stunning”. He said: “This case shows the Army and MoD is not the slightest bit interested in complying with the law. Even after the tribunal found in Kerry’s favour on liability, panning the Army, they still continued to treat Kerry with contempt.
“She applied to join the RAF and it took them a year to tell her she couldn’t.
“They have wrecked her life and her career and they just do not care, whatever they may say. If ever there was a case that merited the award of exemplary damages, this was it. Tribunal decisions have to be reflected in payouts. It is a false comparison to make between tribunal payouts and the money the MoD pays to injured service personnel.”