Royal Navy engineer, 26, who ‘sniggered’ as he groped a female sailor’s bottom while she climbed up a ladder on HMS Prince of Wales is dismissed from the military

  • Able Seaman Daniel Goffey was dismissed from the Royal Navy for sexual assault
  • He groped a woman’s bottom as she climbed a ladder on HMS Prince of Wales
  • At sentencing, the ‘incredibly sorry’ 26-year-old offered to pay compensation

A Royal Navy engineer has been dismissed from the forces for groping a female sailor’s bottom as she climbed up a ladder on a £3.1bn aircraft carrier.

Able Seaman Daniel Goffey, 26, had been following the sailor on the HMS Prince of Wales when he grabbed her behind and ‘sniggered’ as she slapped his hands away.

As he was sentenced for the sexual assault a judge told him female crew members shouldn’t have to ‘constantly worry they might be molested’ by drunk colleagues while on duty.

The judge also said the disgraced sailor tried to ‘play down’ his intoxication in the trial and that he has not taken ‘full responsibility’ for his actions.

AB Goffey had denied sexual assault but was convicted at the end of a three day trial. 

While being sentenced at Tidworth Military Court, an ‘incredibly sorry’ AB Goffey offered to pay the victim ‘a large amount of his savings’ as compensation.

As well as being dismissed, he must complete 25 rehabilitation days within 18 months and 150 hours of unpaid work.

Able Seaman Daniel Taylor Goffey (pictured outside court) sexually assaulted a female sailor, grabbing her bottom as she climbed a ladder

AB Goffey groped the female sailor, who cannot be named for legal reasons, after drinking alcohol at a Navy barbecue onboard aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales.

The judge said that sexual assault cases were ‘more serious’ within the service as they ‘undermine unit cohesion’ and can cause ‘resentment’ whilst living in close quarters.

The trial had heard that a number of mess parties broke out across the ship after the organised deck barbecue came to an end.

Then AB Goffey, who had ‘run out of booze’, wanted to persuade others to join a different mess party.

The female sailor and others tried to draw AB Goffey away from the mess by going to another area of the ship, which meant going up a ladder. 

Though the victim had been trying to get rid of ‘intoxicated’ AB Goffey and was left feeling ‘very uncomfortable’.

The court heard that as a group went up the ladder one-by-one, AB Goffey sexually assaulted the sailor, by putting his hands ‘either side’ of her bottom.

The assault occurred onboard warship HMS Prince of Wales (pictured) after an organised barbecue

Following his conviction, the sentencing hearing was told colleagues described AB Goffey as an ‘upstanding member of his department’ and ‘somebody who could be relied upon’.

Defence barrister Helen Easterbrook revealed he was ‘incredibly sorry’ for his actions and willing to pay ‘compensation’ to the victim.

She added: ‘He doesn’t care if the Navy gets more of his money – but he would like money to go to her. He has some savings and he would be willing to pay her compensation.

‘It’s not an easy thing to offer up as it will be a large amount of his savings.’

AB Goffey was convicted at Bulford Military Court (pictured), where he was also cleared of two further counts of sexual assault

Sentencing AB Goffey, Assistant Judge Advocate General Jane England told him he had been a ‘nuisance’ and had been pestering female sailors including the victim that night.

She added: ‘She had to climb the ladder up and you grabbed her bottom. She told you to stop and you sniggered are her. That is the charge you have been convicted of.

‘It is our view that since then you have tried to play down your intoxication.

‘Although we accept you apologised and you accept the decision of this court, you still don’t take full responsibility – something that requires work.

‘Living and working together, it is imperative that no matter what the circumstances service personnel must maintain standards and respect for each other.

‘Service personnel are entitled to feel safe on board and not have to constantly worry they might be molested by a colleague that has had a drink.

‘We are of the view this is a serious offence and you will be dismissed.’

The Royal Navy’s £3.1bn warship: HMS Prince of Wales 

Construction of the 65,000-tonne warship began in 2011 in Rosyth dockyard in Fife, eastern Scotland.

It departed in September 2019 for eight weeks of sea trials and arrived in Portsmouth in the November with a 600-strong crew on board as well as 300 contractors. 

The ship is one of the most powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK with a flight deck of 230 feet wide and 920 metres long – enough space for three football pitches. 

After being declared fully operational in October 2021, the HMS Prince of Wales participated in an international exercise off the coast of Scotland.

It has also taken part in joint operations with its sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth.

HMS Prince of Wales is one of the most powerful surface warships ever constructed in Britain. Pictured in Portsmouth Harbour

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