August 2016

Ex-cadet instructor from Anglesey jailed for indecent assault on schoolboy

A former cadet officer has been jailed for abusing a schoolboy 40 years ago.

Electrician Eric Rowlands of Yr Ogof, Holyhead , had denied six charges of indecent assault on two boys when they were members of the sea cadets.

Back in June, the 65-year-old was found guilty of two charges of indecent assault on one of the boys while he himself was in his 20s.

Rowlands was a volunteer officer in the sea cadets at Holyhead when the offences were committed in the late 1970s and early 80s.

Mold Crown Court heard that the allegations of sexual touching arose following cadet meetings.

The victim, then a child but now a man in his late 40s, broke down and cried at Mold Crown Court yesterday as he told how the abuse had ruined his life.

He spoke to the court from behind a screen and emotionally told how he was “so young” when the defendant abused him.

“He took my innocence for his own sexual gratification,” he said.

He said that his outlook on life changed forever when he was attacked by the defendant.

He drank heavily at a young age, became depressed, self-harmed and had suicidal thoughts.

The court heard the victim had received help from a psychiatrist to deal with his mental health problems and eventually found the courage to confide in his family about the abuse.

Sentencing him to four years in prison, Judge Rhys Rowlands said the matter had remained a secret for so long.

“He was a child and you were a grown man at the time,” the judge said.

“You thought you had got away with it.

“Now, I am afraid, you will have to account for what was pretty depraved behaviour by you when a much younger man.”

As well as his jail sentence, Rowlands will also have to register with the police as a sex offender for life.

Rowlands was also made the subject of a life-time sexual harm prevention order under which he is not to approach the victim, or his family, again.