October 2018

Air cadet instructor ‘knew exactly what he was doing’ when he invited a child to his house for sex, says appeal court

An air cadet instructor who groomed and began sexual relationships with two young teenagers, has seen an appeal to reduce his 12-year sentence thrown out.

Adam John McCarley ‘knew exactly what he was doing’ when he met the two girls whilst working for the cadets in Greater Manchester, a top judge has said.

Mr Justice Julian Knowles said the 32-year-old knew he was committing ‘serious crimes’ as he rejected claims his sentence had been ‘excessive.’

McCarley, of Grange Drive, Blackley would compliment the girls’ appearances before offering them lifts home from training, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court previously heard.

Despite having a partner and young son, McCarley invited one of the girls over to his house where they watched a film and had sexual intercourse.

They had a secret relationship for two years, in which time he proposed to her, asked her to move in with him and bought her a phone.

Following concerns from the girl’s family, police were contacted but no further action was taken and he began messaging the second victim.

They too began a sexual relationship which lasted for seven months until the girl’s parents discovered explicit messages from him on her phone.

Both girls described the long-lasting ‘scarring’ effects of McCarley’s actions, with the second victim saying it led her to self-harm.

McCarley previously admitted 16 counts of sexual activity with a child and two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activitiy.

His 12-year sentence imposed by Judge Martin Savill in June, has now been given the backing of three senior judges.

Upholding the term, Mr Justice Julian Knowles told London’s Court of Appeal that the sentence had been appropriate.

Conversation led to meetings and full-blown sexual encounters with both girls at different times, said the judge.

The offences involved grooming, planning, subterfuge and a significant age gap between the offender and victims.

“Grooming undoubtedly took place,” he said.

“Adam McCarley was an adult man with a partner and a child. The complainants were just schoolgirls at the time,” he said.

“The sentence of 12 years was unquestionably a stiff sentence, but equally these were very serious offences.

“There were many, many instances of sexual intercourse by an adult man who was aware of the risks he was taking and well aware that what he was doing was, indeed, a serious criminal offence.”

The appeal was dismissed and the 12-year term upheld.

McCarley will remain on the sex-offenders register for life.