An employment tribunal has heard an Army sergeant deny sending texts to a lesbian soldier claiming he could “convert” her.

Lance Corporal Kerry Fletcher, 31, claims she was picked on because of her sexuality and that the staff sergeant sent her text messages indicating he wanted to have sex with her when she was working at an army stables in North Yorkshire.

The sergeant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has maintained his innocence despite an internal army inquiry indicating that he most likely did sent the messages.

“I have been protesting my innocence for the past three years. I still remain innocent and I still didn’t do it,” he said.

He told the Leeds tribunal yesterday, that Fletcher had suggested he should be a sperm donor and once said: “You have quite a bulge, I was wondering if it was big or just scrunched up in briefs?”

The staff sergeant described how Miss Fletcher had often been late for duties and insubordinate towards him.

He said after a period of leave he decided “enough was enough” and decided to enforce discipline more severely.

He denied he had singled her out for more severe treatment because she had rejected his sexual advances.

He was asked how he felt when he heard about the allegations Miss Fletcher had made against him.

“I had 20 years of exemplary service. I had never had anything like this happen to me. I was absolutely fuming,” he said, according to The Sun.

The hearing continues.