Spalding historic sex abuse victim: It was years until I broke my silence

Stuart Brown felt trapped in perpetual silence with his dreadful secret because he had no-one to turn to.

Thursday, 26th May 2016, 3:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2016, 4:58 pm
Stuart Brown at the Cley Hall Hotel, where he has worked part-time as part of his recovery. SG240516-148TW

The sexual abuse by former policeman and scout leader John Edward Bates began when Stuart was ten-years-old. 
Bates showed him “slightly dodgy cine films that had naked women in them” and asked if he was aroused.

Stuart said: “He then began touching me through clothes, initially, and then over time progressing to removing clothes and then doing various sexual acts.”

Stuart said Bates and his dad were assistant Scout leaders together and best friends.

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“They became friends through that and Bates started coming to our house after a few months for Sunday dinner,” said Stuart. “In effect, as the judge said, he became part of the family but he abused the trust as a friend of the family, Scout leader, member of the church and policeman – but that’s how they work.”

Stuart was 30 when he first told his parents about the abuse in 1996.

He said: “I first went to the police in 1999 – that was the Met and they told me that because he (Bates) had already served time for similar offences the CPS would not be interested. But they put something completely different on their computer – they said I wasn’t prepared to make a statement.”

From the age of ten he’s feared police and authority. He says Bates assaulted him while wearing police uniform, Scout uniform and civvies.

He pursued a formal complaint again in 2013 after an encounter with police brought back memories of Bates.

“I smoked from the age of 11,” said Stuart. “I look back now and think ‘why did I start smoking and smoking regularly?’ It was a crutch and he supported it.”

He said Bates never drugged him but he used Pernod and to this day that drink makes Stuart feel physically ill. “If you are indoctrinated from the age of ten into what happens between special friends you don’t know any different,” said Stuart.

Stuart is urging anyone who has suffered abuse, and loved ones who are supporting them, to seek proper help.

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