Army cadets officer who put his hand down a young recruit’s trousers
AN army cadets officer who put his hand down a young recruit’s trousers has been jailed for more than five years.
Preston Crown Court heard 79-year-old George Walker shattered an army recruit’s dreams of a career in the military when memories of his abuse as a cadet came flooding back.
The victim, who can not be named for legal reasons, feigned an ankle injury the night before he was due to start basic training as he could not face the career he had dreamed of since childhood.
Walker was jailed for five years and three months after he was found guilty of putting his hands down the cadet’s trousers to stop him slouching on parade with Burnley and Padiham Cadets in the 1970s.
He also abused another boy, the court heard.
Walker, who was thought to be a captain or lieutenant in the cadets corps, was only found out when his first victim reported him to the police in 2014 – after watching a BBC report about a scoutmaster who had been convicted of sexually abusing children.
Following his arrest, Walker denied any wrongdoing, but was convicted of the offences following a trial at Burnley Crown Court.
Joanna Rodriguez, prosecuting, said: “The victim says his life has been ruined.
“He has had an underlying unhappiness, which has probably led to the depression he has the gone on to suffer.”
Walker, who now lives in Langdale Close, Plymouth, ‘took a shine’ to one of the boys and took him on a theatre trip to Manchester, where he groped him in the relatively empty auditorium.
The second boy recalled how Walker put his hands down the back of his trousers to make sure he stood to attention while on parade with the cadets.
Walker was also found to have squeezed one of the boys’ genitals and put his tongue in his ear, the court heard.
A jury was told Walker denied 10 offences of indecent assault and two offences of gross indecency with a child but he was convicted of all counts.
Summarising a victim personal statement made by Walker’s first victim, Miss Rodriguez, said: “He was an outgoing, happy kid. He became introverted and self conscious as a youth.
“He felt as a result of being a cadet and wanting to join the army that the defendant’s conduct was normal and he felt when he joined the army, this was what he was to expect.”
Recorder Mark Ainsworth, sentencing, said: “As these cases come before the court we see the impact this sort of abuse has on people as adults, when this sort of abuse happens as children.
“The victim had his heart set on joining the army and the night before he was going to start basic training, he just couldn’t go.”