January 2019

Band leader sexually assaulted 14-year-old cadet

A Burry Port band leader with a military cadet unit exploited his position to sexually abuse a young boy, a court has heard.

Former soldier Philip Pryor groomed the boy with alcohol and cigarettes before sexually assaulting him – then told his young victim nobody would believe him if he reported what was going on because his abuser was a respected member of the community.

The victim kept his silence for years until he saw publicity around the abuse of young players in football and decided to go to police.

Swansea Crown Court heard the complaint led to a police investigation which also found 65-year-old Pryor had downloaded indecent images on a British Legion computer and searched the internet for pictures of child abuse involving schoolboys.

Robin Rouch, prosecuting, said Pryor was a band leader with the Army cadet unit in Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, at the time of the abuse.

The defendant, who spent several years as a band leader, was himself an accomplished musician having played with a regimental band while in the Army and the cadet band attracted youngsters from across south west Wales.

The court heard Pryor allowed cadets to have alcohol and cigarettes – something that “had its attractions for the boys”.

On a number of occasions Pror abused his victim in the band hut kitchen while he also assaulted the boy in a shower, the court heard.

Pryor would boil pans of water and place towels around doors and windows and turn the kitchen into a sauna.

Boys were encouraged to take off their clothes, as did Pryor.

On at least three occasions he touched the boy indecently

The court heard Pryor told his victim, who was a teenager, not to tell anyone about what was happening.

Mr Rouch said the abuse remained hidden until 2016 when the victim saw a TV programme about the sexual abuse of boys by a football coach and it “triggered something in his mind”.

The victim confided in a friend then contacted the children’s charity NSPCC and later the police.

Pryor was arrested in January 2017 and denied the allegations.

The prosecutor said as part of their investigation police seized the computer Pryor used in his role as a branch secretary for the British Legion charity.

On it they found three indecent images of boys which had been downloaded on August 31, 2015, and internet searches for “schoolboy pornography”.

Pryor, of Llys-y-Llyfrgell, Burry Port, admitted three counts of indecent assault on a male and one count of possession of indecent images

Pryor was jailed for two and a half years and will be on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life. He is also subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.