BREAKING NEWS: Former scout leader sentenced to 20 years’ prison

John Edward Bates.

John Edward Bates.

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A former Lincolnshire Police officer and scout leader has this morning (Friday) been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted of a series of historic sexual assaults on four young boys.

• More here soon.

BREAKING, THURSDAY, 4PM: Former scout leader guilty of sexual assaults on four young boys

A former Lincolnshire Police officer is facing a lengthy jail sentence after he was today (Thursday) convicted of a series of historic sexual assaults on four young boys.

John Edward Bates, who met his victims through his role as a scout leader at Wittering and Spalding during the 1970s and 1980s, was found guilty by the jury at Lincoln Crown Court of 16 charges of indecent assault on a male person. He was also found guilty of two charges of indecency with a child.

Bates, who served with Lincolnshire Police between 1976 and 1983 before being dismissed from the force, was cleared of two further charges of indecent assault and two serious sexual offences.

He denied all 22 charges, claiming that the victims fabricated the evidence against him and said he was innocent.

The 68-year-old, formerly of Pinchbeck Road, Spalding but now living in Camden, north London, was remanded in custody and will be sentenced tomorrow (Friday).

During the trial the jury heard that Bates had previously served a four year jail sentence for offences against young boys imposed at Nottingham Crown Court after an earlier investigation into him back in 1982.

Judge Simon Hirst said he will be imposing a “very substantial” jail sentence and described Bates as a predatory man who abused the enormous trust placed in him as a scout leader and police officer.

Grace Hale, prosecuting, told the jury during the trial that Bates abused two of the boys while he was a scout leader in Wittering where he served in the Royal Air Force.

Bates later became a scout leader in Spalding and went on to abuse two more boys.

The jury heard that boys were shown pornographic films and magazines during visits to Bates’ home and were then abused.

One witness told the jury that he was repeatedly abused by Bates from when he was just 10-years-old. He said that Bates took him for a weekend in London where they watched Chelsea play and then sexually assaulted him at their overnight accommodation.

Timothy Naik, in mitigation, told the court: “He has been out of trouble for the last 30 years.

“He has been working. He has bettered himself. He went to university. He has confronted his sexuality. He is coming up to 69 and has been in a long-term civil partnership.”

An NSPCC spokesman said: “Bates took advantage of the authority entrusted in him as a police officer and scout leader.

“He has committed pernicious crimes against vulnerable children who should never have been at risk of sexual abuse.

“We hope this sends a message to perpetrators of historic abuse that they cannot hide from the law.

“We also urge other victims of child abuse to come forward to allow the police to investigate such crimes. Anyone who has concerns about abuse or who is a victim can call the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 800 5000.”

UPDATE, WEDNESDAY 5.15PM: Jury retires in case against former scout leader

The jury has retired in the trial of a former Lincolnshire police officer accused of carrying out a string sexual offences against boys.

The judge in the case against John Edward Bates sent out the 12 men and women this afternoon (Wednesday) and they will reconvene tomorrow (Thursday) to try to come to a decision.

Bates (68) denies offences against four youngsters in the 1970s and 1980s when he was a scout leader in South Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

UPDATE TUESDAY 2.30PM: Ex-Spalding police officer tells court ‘bombshell’ sexual assault allegations ‘definitely did not happen’

A former Lincolnshire police officer has today (Tues) denied carrying out a string sexual offences against boys.

John Edward Bates denies offences against four youngsters in the 1970s and 1980s when he was a scout leader in South Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

Bates, 68, who faces a total of 22 charges, denies the matters and says the incidents never happened.

The prosecution claim two of the victims were in the Scouts when Bates was stationed with the RAF at Wittering before he joined the police.

It is alleged Bates showed one of the boys a pornographic film at his home.

But giving evidence at Lincoln Crown Court, Bates insisted: “I’ve never had any pornographic films at all.” and asked if he ever sexually assaulted the boy, Bates replied: “That definitely did not happen.”

The prosecution allege a second boy was taken alone by Bates for a weekend in London where they visited bars.

But Bates told the jury he could not even remember the boy who made the allegation and said he would only take Scouts to visit tourist sites in “twos and threes.”

The jury heard Bates moved to Spalding in 1976 after he joined Lincolnshire Police and again became involved with local scout groups.

The prosecution claim a further two boys made complaints of being sexually abused by Bates.

It is alleged Bates abused one of the boys on repeated occasions over a number of years, including during a trip when he was taken to London to watch Chelsea play football.

The jury have been told Chelsea lost 3-1 to Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on 7 April, 1979.

But giving evidence, Bates said he had no memory of taking that boy to watch Chelsea play.

Instead, Bates said it was possible he had taken another boy but there would have been at least two Scouts with him.

“When I was interviewed (by the police) I could not remember going to Chelsea,” Bates said.

“I am not a Chelsea fan.”

Bates said the boy later wrote to him in prison but he denied trying to sexually assault him again when they met up in London following his release from jail.

The jury has been told that Bates was investigated by police in 1982 over allegations of offences against other young boys and, as a result, was later prosecuted and convicted.

He said the boy asked to be lent £200 and seemed upset when he refused, but Bates insisted he had never touched the boy and described the allegations as a “bombshell.”

Bates, 68, formerly of Pinchbeck Road, Spalding, but now living in Camden, North London, denies 18 charges of indecent assault on a male, two charges of indecency with a child and two charges of committing a serious sexual offence.

The trial continues.

MONDAY 4.45PM: Scout leader abused me when I was 10-years-old, man tells court

A former scout has told a jury that he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a ex-Lincolnshire police officer.

The complainant, now in his 40s, told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court that John Edward Bates abused him over a six year period.

Bates, who at the time was a scout leader in Spalding, is currently on trial facing 22 charges involving four boys.

The complainant told the jury Bates regularly committed offences against him, saying: “It was every time he had the opportunity.”

He said that when he was just 10 years old Bates abused him on a weekly basis and the incidents continued into his teens although, he said, the frequency reduced as he approached his 14th birthday.

The witness said: “I was trying to avoid it. I learned how to avoid things.”

He told the jury that in April 1979 Bates took him to London for a weekend to watch a Chelsea football match and they stayed at the home of Bates’ parents.

He said: “I’d been a Chelsea supporter since I was four or five years old. I’d never been to London before.”

The man said that they stayed at Bates’ parents home and he slept in a sleeping bag on the lounge floor but said that during the night Bates sexually abused him.

He told the jury that when the defendant was jailed in 1983 he wrote to Bates in prison.

“I didn’t know what he had gone to prison for. I suppose in a weird way I supposed him to be innocent. He was a policeman. He went to church.”

The witness said that after Bates was released from jail they met up and stayed at a relative’s house.

He said he slapped Bates after the defendant kissed him and added: “He went to bed and to sleep and disappeared early in the morning and I have never had any contact with him until seeing him in court.”

Bates (68), formerly of Pinchbeck Road, Spalding, but now living in Camden, north London, denies 18 charges of indecent assault on a male, two charges of indecency with a child and two charges of attempting to commit a serious sexual offence. The charges relate to the period between March 1972 and October 1989.

Bates says the allegations against him are fabricated and says nothing sexual happened between himself and any of the four complainants.

• The case continues

WEDNESDAY 3PM: Ex-Spalding scout master ‘showed boy pornographic films and then sexually abused him’A complainant who met John Edward Bates while he was a member of the Wittering Scouts in the 1970s told the jury that when he was in his teens he was invited to Bates’ home at Thornhaugh to watch cine film taken at a scout camp.

The man, now in his 50s, said that on one visit Bates showed him pornographic films.

He told the jury: “I was quite shocked. I had never seen anything like that before.”

The witness said that Bates went on to sexually abuse him.

He said: “I was frightened by him. He was a lot bigger than me. I just froze. I didn’t want to do it.”

The witness said that Bates sexually abused him on other occasions, adding: “I just let him do it. I didn’t know how to stop anything. I thought ‘Who’s going to believe me?’ because he was in the RAF, he was a scout leader and he was a respected man in the community.”

WEDNESDAY, 10.05AM: Ex-Spalding scout master denies offences against boys

A former scout leader from Spalding carried out a series of sex attacks on boys, a jury at Lincoln Crown Court was told.

John Edward Bates, who is also a former Lincolnshire Police officer, is alleged to have committed offences against four youngsters in the 1970s and 1980s when he was a scout leader in South Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

Bates, who faces a total of 22 charges, denies the matters and says the incidents never happened.

Grace Hale, prosecuting, told the jury: “This case is about allegations of sexual abuse made by four male complainants when they were all in the Scouts Association. It was during the late 1970s into the 1980s when the defendant was a scout leader.

“The defendant says nothing of that sort happened between himself and all these individuals. He says they are all fabricating their accounts and telling lies.”

Mrs Hale said two of the boys were in the scouts in Cambridgeshire when Bates, who was at the time in the RAF stationed at the Wittering base, was a scout leader.

Bates, she alleged, invited one 15 year old to his home, offering him the chance to look at cine films made at scout camps but then showed him pornographic films.

She told the jury that the boy was then sexually abused, leaving him confused and frightened.

Mrs Hale said: “The complainant’s recollection is that on a number of occasions sexual acts would happen with the defendant either in the defendant’s car or in his cottage.”

She told the jury a second boy was taken by Bates for a weekend in London at the age of 13 or 14 and after visiting pubs with Bates was later sexually abused.

Bates later moved to Spalding. Mrs Hale said two boys from anothe group had also made complaints of being sexually abused by Bates.

One of the boys told police how he was abused by Bates over a number of years including an incident where Bates took him to London to watch Chelsea FC play but then attacked the boy at their overnight accommodation.

The jury has been told that Bates was in the RAF before serving as a Lincolnshire Police officer between 1976 and 1983.

Mrs Hale said that in 1982 Bates was investigated by police over allegations of offences against other young boys and as a result was later prosecuted and convicted.

Bates (68), formerly of Pinchbeck Road, Spalding, but now living in Camden, North London, denies 18 charges of indecent assault on a male, two charges of indecency with a child and two charges of attempting to commit a serious sexual offence. The charges relate to the period between March 1972 and October 1989.

• The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.