A paratrooper from Norfolk is set to face trial in a military court after denying a charge of sexual assault.

Lieutenant William Key, from the Broads village of Limpenhoe, near Cantley, is set to attend a court martial following an accusation by a female civil servant earlier this year.

Lt Key, 27, of the Parachute Regiment, was top of his class at Sandhurst military academy and was presented with the Sword of Honour by Princess Anne in 2021, which is awarded to the best overall cadet.

Eastern Daily Press: Lieutenant William Key was top of his class at Sandhurst military academyLieutenant William Key was top of his class at Sandhurst military academy (Image: MoD)

The para is accused of attacking a woman who was working for the Ministry of Defence while taking part in a military exercise at a British Army garrison in Brunei.

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He was charged in July and will face trial at Bulford Military Court Centre on January 31 next year.

Eastern Daily Press: Lt William Key was head boy at Acle Academy in his school daysLt William Key was head boy at Acle Academy in his school days (Image: MoD)

An Army spokesman said: "We can confirm that a soldier is to face trial. As the matter is the subject of an ongoing legal proceeding it would be inappropriate to comment further."

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Lt Key was head boy at Acle Academy and represented the region at cross country running at a national level as a youngster, also attending the national Master Cadet Course at Frimley Park in Surrey.

He cited working on his family farm in his younger days as one of the prime reasons why he excelled at Sandhurst.

The former East Norfolk Sixth Form student was one of 200 officer cadets to parade in front of the Princess Royal as they were commissioned in 2021.

He also had to introduce his fellow cadets on parade and had lunch with Princess Anne, where they talked about sheep and Norwich cattle market.

At the time, Lt Key said: "The history of the regiment inspires me and I am inspired by what they continue to do today, such as in Kabul."