A British Army Gurkha who became infatuated with a colleague’s wife and called her 27 times in a four-month period while harassing her on social media has been handed a restraining order.
Sergeant Bamprasad Lumba developed a ‘deeply unfortunate and inappropriate infatuation’ with Kusum Thapa-Gurung and ‘romantically pursued’ her while her husband was deployed abroad, a court martial heard.
The married 34-year-old repeatedly messaged the woman, asking when he could come for dinner.
She even had to block him on social media, but the court heard he continued to ‘pester’ her by making new profiles.
As a result she ended up feeling like ‘a prisoner in her own home’, Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, heard.
After she complained to military police, Sgt Lumba admitted a single charge of harassment, between September 2020 and January 2021.
He has now been reduced in rank to Corporal and handed a restraining order preventing him from meeting her or contacting her.
Sergeant Bamprasad Lumba (pictured) developed a ‘deeply unfortunate and inappropriate infatuation’ with Kusum Thapa-Gurung and ‘romantically pursued’ her while her husband was deployed abroad, a court martial heard
The married 34-year-old (pictured) repeatedly messaged the woman, asking when he could come for dinner
Sentencing Sgt Lumba, Judge Advocate Robert Hill said: ‘The victim in this case is a wife of another Gurkha sergeant living in the Gurkha community and you both live on the same road.
‘You had an infatuation for this woman and you pestered her with numerous Facebook messages and Instagram messages and in particular 27 phone calls, eight from a withheld number, six past the watershed at night including one which was withheld at night.
‘It’s fairly obvious this is going to cause the wife of a soldier, who has no interest in you the way you wanted her to, distress.
‘She’s been a prisoner in her own home and had time off work due to stress.
‘Most people in the military community would look very very dimly on this conduct on a fellow soldier’s wife while he was serving his country overseas and would have a right to assume she would be looked after, not romantically pursued by his brother sergeant.’
Captain Daniel Lawlor, prosecuting, told the hearing: ‘He contacted her repeatedly through electronic means over Facebook and Instagram, and he also called her both openly from his own phone and a number of times using a withheld number.
‘This occurred during a period where [the victim’s] husband, serving in the same regiment as Sgt Lumba, was deployed overseas.
‘The messages included things like ‘I have seen you running on camp’ and ‘when can I come for dinner?’. He would also comment on her physical movements, saying ‘where are you?’ and ‘your car is not here’.
‘She told him ‘could you stop?’ ‘please stop’, ‘you need to stop’ and on one occasion when she said ‘you agreed to stop’ he replied ‘I did but I can’t stop’.
Sentencing Sgt Lumba at Bulford Military Court Centre (pictured), Judge Advocate Robert Hill said: ‘The victim in this case is a wife of another Gurkha sergeant living in the Gurkha community and you both live on the same road’
‘She blocked him on Facebook and Instagram but that resulted in him making the effort to contact her through new accounts.’
The court heard Sgt Lumba, of the 94 Supply Squadron Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistics Regiment, which is based at Hullavington near Chippenham, Wilts, told police it was a ‘mutual exchange of communication’.
However, a statement written by the victim was read in court, in which she said: ‘Since all this began I’m constantly on edge and very scared in my own home.
‘I think it’s unfair I feel like this when I have done nothing except tell him to leave me alone.
‘I now keep my blinds shut and ask my work friend to take me to work… I’m scared to walk to my car, especially when it’s dark.’
Graham Gilbert, defending, told the court: ‘This is not a case where the harassment has been malicious or with any real ill will behind it.
‘It’s a case of a deeply unfortunate and inappropriate infatuation.’