The devastated parents of a Scottish airman who believe their son was “murdered in initiation ceremony” after the brigade was “raped with mortar”
The devastated parents of a Scottish airman who they say was murdered after a gruesome initiation ceremony have exposed allegations of rape at another RAF base.
Military police are investigating an incident at RAF Honington in Suffolk where a young soldier from the RAF regiment was allegedly raped with a mortar tube, typically used to fire heavy explosives.
A sordid video supposedly showing the rape was released online.
While Air Force bosses insist such ceremonies were never allowed, Robert Fleeting’s parents have said claims show the culture in the military needs to change.
Robert, from East Kilbride, was a firefighter in the service and was committed to getting married when he died at the age of just 24 at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire, in 2011 in what was considered suicide .
But his parents believe they never got the full picture and DNA at the scene seems to point to more people involved in his son’s death.
They also believe parts of his clothing were missing and say they were not initially approached to check the handwriting on the suicide notes.
An investigation in 2012 ruled that Robert was struggling with his sexuality and committed suicide.
They will virtually meet with Veterans Affairs Minister Johnny Mercer on Tuesday to voice concerns about what is happening on the bases and discuss their own predicament for a decade for answers.
Papa Charles, who served in the military, said: “It is absolutely shocking that people’s sons and daughters still enlist in the forces and find it happening to them.
“In the military, the RAF were the ‘Brylcreem boys’ and were quite envied by some of the other services. But these claims and what happened to Robert show that you can be in the army, navy, or military. air – whatever is happening.
“No one believed us when we said our son had gone through an initiation ceremony, but this case just shows that these things are happening.
“We have been fighting for ten years but the truth will come out.”
Mom Susan added, “This is not the only case of claims that this is happening.
“We just want to make sure that no one else’s child suffers like this.
“The culture in the military has to make sure everyone is safe.”
The parents are looking for ways to open another investigation into Robert’s death which they believe was linked to bullying in the forces.
An RAF spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of an offensive video involving Royal Air Force personnel. The RAF Police Special Investigations branch is currently investigating the incident shown in the video.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further while investigations are ongoing. “
A spokesperson for the Department of Defense said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of SAC Robert Fleeting.
“Defense, People and Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer will meet with the family to discuss ongoing work within government to monitor and better understand suicides among military personnel. “
Don’t miss the latest news from across Scotland and beyond – Sign up for our daily newsletter here.