Navy warrant officer found guilty, discharged from service by military court for acts of indecency

An Australian Navy warrant officer from HMAS Albatross is being escorted to Holsworthy Military Prison this afternoon after he was found guilty of seven indecent acts towards women between 2014 and 2017.

Ian Harrison was working at HMAS Creswell in Jervis Bay when he touched a woman’s nipples and pinched another on the buttocks without their consent.

He also exposed himself and showed another woman pictures of his penis on a phone, and a video of him having sex.

The court heard he had repeatedly invited women into his office to watch him get changed and had made numerous inappropriate comments about women’s breasts during his time at the base.

A witness told the court during the trial Harrison had made her feel like “a piece of meat”.

Another witness said he had made consistently inappropriate remarks about her nipples to the point where she would wear a jacket to ensure he could not see them.

One woman told the court she left her job as a result of Harrison’s behaviour.

Harrison was charged with 11 offences altogether, including a number of prejudicial conduct offences relating the acts of indecency.

It took a military panel five hours to find Harrison guilty of all charges.

He was dismissed from the Australian Defence Force and sentenced to 24 days in the military prison at Holsworthy, as well as a fine of $6,000 and demoted to the rank of petty officer.

As part of the final submissions, high-ranking Navy personnel gave positive character references about Harrison.

A rear admiral and a captain both provided statements praising him as a warrant officer.

Harrison had previously pleaded guilty to charges of a similar nature, where he sent explicit text messages to a female leading seaman on a work phone in 2004.