England: A sergeant was verbally abused by a group of Muslim women at a hospital where British troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan are treated
Company Sergeant Major Neil Powell was reportedly surrounded and heckled by three women in an unprovoked attack at Selly Oak Hospital, where the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine is based.
It is not the first time the issue of security has arisen following claims of military personnel being abused by civilian visitors.
A £7,000 swipe-card system was introduced last year in a bid to tighten security after an injured paratrooper was threatened by a Muslim visitor who, it was reported, also abused him about the military's involvement in those war zones.
Together with CCTV, the new system was to allow nursing staff to identify visitors before they were allowed on to the wards.
CSM Powell, a welfare officer who works with injured troops, was on a regular ward visit when the incident happened on May 10.
The three women, who wore traditional Asian dress, ranted about the presence of British soldiers in Muslim countries. He told officers but declined to make a formal complaint, fearing any negative reports would impact on the morale of troops recovering on the mixed wards.
According to the Mail on Sunday, a colleague said: "He couldn't believe it. CSM Powell just had to stand there and take abuse from these screaming and very aggressive women. I don't think a guy would have got away with it.
"A lot of soldiers are worried that something more serious could happen. There isn't much security here."
Muslim women abuse soldier at troops hospital