A married RAF chief accused of ‘sticking his tongue down’ a female NATO officer’s throat at a summer ball claimed ‘I don’t even do that to my wife’.
Wing Commander Jolyon Goodwin, one of the British air force’s top brass within the international military alliance, allegedly walked off the dancefloor grinning and took the Scandinavian woman’s face in his hands.
She told how, to her shock, he then pushed his tongue into her mouth, causing her to push him away.
The military court in Sennelager, Germany, heard Goodwin claimed he ‘misread her personal values’ and told investigators he had made ‘an honest mistake’ at the fancy dress event thrown by UK forces in Germany.
In interview with a Military Police officer, Wing Commander Goodwin, who denies a charge of sexual assault, said: ‘I don’t always dance but I was in the mood for dancing and that 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.’
The married officer denies a charge of sexual assault on July 8 last year at the Kaiserslautern football stadium, which is near Allied Air Command HQ at Ramstein air base.
Wing Commander Jolyon Goodwin, one of the British air force’s top brass within the international defence organisation
The court heard the woman, an officer with NATO Air Command, serves alongside Goodwin in Germany at a high rank with her own nation, one of the 31 which makes up the world’s most powerful military alliance.
Father-of-two Wing Commander Goodwin is a training chief for NATO and British forces, currently serving as branch head of the organisation’s ‘Lessons Learned’ protocol.
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.
Graham Coombes, prosecuting, said the pair both worked as part of Allied Air Command.
The female officer told the court how she had been the ‘plus one’ of another RAF officer at the 80s and 90s themed British Community Summer Party and knew of Wing Commander Goodwin.
In a video interview played to the court she said: ‘After dinner that night I spent most of my time on the dancefloor. I 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 was told that she told him ‘in no uncertain words’ to ‘f*** off.’
Graham Coombes, prosecuting, said the pair both worked as part of Allied Air Command (stock image)
She continued: ‘I was shocked, I pushed him away, it was not hard I just wanted him to get away from me.’
The following day she told a friend: ‘Jo tried to stick his tongue down my throat last night but I dealt with it.’
She heard from a colleague that Goodwin had been confronted about his behaviour at work early the following week by a fellow officer.
The court was told that Goodwin 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.
He told investigating officers that he and the complainant had been dancing together and she later leaned in towards him, so he kissed her.
Mr Coombes said that Goodwin’s intent was clearly sexual.
He told the court martial panel: ‘The prosecution invites you to find that putting his tongue in her mouth was clearly sexual, that the complainant did not consent and that the accused did not reasonably believe that she consented to that.’
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 in July last year.
But he felt obliged to attend the ball at the Kaiserslautern football stadium because of his senior position.
He was surprised by the complainant’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 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 way to how I intended it.’
He claimed ‘she was drunk’ and said the officer had ‘misremembered the event.’
Wing Commander Goodwin, who is originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, said the complainant in the case had been drinking and was ‘bouncing and jumping around.’
Describing the kiss, he said: ‘I felt it was consensual and I am still of the belief it was consensual but she misinterpreted it. It happened in a second.
‘She asked ‘what are you doing? You have a wife and I have a boyfriend.’
‘I thought ‘oh my Good she thinks I’m trying to get off with her.
‘She leant in and I gave her a kiss, there was nothing in it that was sexual. I was gutted and embarrassed.
‘She said ‘we cannot do this’ and I just thought ‘God this is really awkward and I moved away.’
He went on to say he would not have cheated on his wife, who at that time was recovering from a life threatening event after collapsing at an Iron Man event.
‘I was upset I had embarrassed myself and I did not like the idea she was under the impression I was trying to be unfaithful to my wife, which makes me feel absolutely horrendous.’
The trial is due to conclude today.