​British soldier accused of sexually abusing girl, 6, in Austria

Reuters / Eric Gaillard
The Austrian authorities have charged a serving member of the British Army for allegedly breaking into a family’s home and sexually abusing their six-year-old daughter.

The paratrooper, who has not been named, is reported to have committed the offences when on a training exercise in the Alps late last year, and has been remanded in Austrian custody since the incident.

He has been charged with rape and grievous sexual abuse of a minor, according to Hansjoerg Mayr, a public prosecutor in the Austrian state of Tyrol.

Mayr said the trial will start on March 10, and the defendant could face up to 10 years in prison if he is found guilty.

The Heute newspaper reported that the alleged incident occurred while troops from the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery were undergoing mountain training in Tyrol.

The soldier in question is believed to have broken into the house in Neustift im Stubaital in late November 2014, where he was subsequently physically restrained by the girl’s father.

A British embassy spokesperson said "we can confirm the arrest of a British national in Neustift”.

A spokesperson for the British Army said that they were aware of the detention of the soldier on November 29, but said it was not a matter for the army to discuss.

"This is a matter for the Austrian authorities and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further," they added