UPDATE: Ex-police officer and Wittering scout leader jailed for 20 years for sexual assaults on boys

A former Lincolnshire Police officer and Wittering scout leader was today, Friday, jailed for a total of 20 years after he was convicted by a jury of a series of historic sexual assaults on four young boys.

Friday, 20th May 2016, 12:55 pm
Updated Friday, 20th May 2016, 2:00 pm
John Edward Bates.

John Edward Bates, who met his victims through his role as a scout leader at Wittering and Spalding during the 1970s and 1980s, was earlier 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.

Bates, 68, formerly of Pinchbeck Road, Spalding but now living in Camden, North London, denied all 22 charges claiming that the victims fabricated the evidence against him and said he was innocent.

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Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence today, told Bates “You were entrusted with the welfare of these complainants and you abused that trust in the most grotesque way possible by systematically abusing each of them.

“All of this took place when you were a scout leader and all of it involved the sexual abuse of young boys aged between 10 and 15 years of age.

“It is clear that in their different ways all of the victims have been profoundly affected by your abuse of them. You did them all real, lasting damage. You did it for no other reason than to obtain gratification for yourself.”

The court was told that in 1983 Bates was jailed for four years at Nottingham Crown Court for sexual abuse of young boys he met through his role as a scout leader.

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.

Other offences took place at scout camps, in Bates’ car and during weekend visits to London.

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 against Nottingham Forest and then sexually assaulted him at their overnight accommodation.

Bates denied the charges claiming he did not commit the offences and he accused the witnesses of fabricating their complaints.

In victim impact statements read out in court today each of the victims described how their lives were ruined by the abuse they suffered at the hands of Bates.

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.”

After the hearing Det Sgt Tim Wilkinson of Lincolnshire Police, who lead the investigation, said “He has never admitted his offences. It does not seem to have registered with him what the effect of his abuse has done to these people. He abused so many people who trusted him.”