Four years jail for sex menace [PC John Bates]

Four years jail for sex menace [PC John Bates]

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Sex case policeman John Edward Bates was officially dismissed from the Lincolnshire Police Force on Friday during a disciplinary hearing.

Chief constable Mr James Kerr heard the evidence against Bates, branded a “menace to boy scouts” by a judge after being found guilty of 13 sex offences against young boys.

John Bates Sex Menace
John Bates Sex Menace

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said: “This case would be a formality.  Mr Kerr heard the evidence against Bates and would then decide how to punish.  He has been dismissed from the force”.

Bates (35), of 75C Pinchbeck Road, Spalding – a police constable, scoutmaster and church chorister – was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday morning.

He had strenuously denied committing 11 indecent assaults and four offences of a more serious nature during the 13-day trial.

Bates was found guilty by a three-woman, nine man jury of 11 indecent assaults, for which he was sentenced to three years.  He was found guilty of committing a more serious offence and attempting to commit the offence, and was jailed for four years.  The sentences are to run concurrently.

He was cleared of one charge of a more serious nature, and the jury could not agree on a verdict involving a similar charge.  The Judge, Mr Justice Park, discharged the jury from having to record a verdict.

Eleven of the 12 jury members returned to court on Thursday to hear sentence passed on Bates, described by Det Chief Supt Ray Moyses, head of Lincolnshire CID as a man of “hitherto unblemished character”.

Mr Moyses, who was accused by Bates of having masterminded a conspiracy against him, told the Judge that 18 or 19 boys had been Bates’ victims.  Two charges were left on the file.

Mr Brian Smedley, QC, who defended Bates, said his client’s life had been ruined at the age of 35.  He said Bates might have to ask for protection in jail, and would spend much of his time alone.

Mr Justice Park told Bates: “It is plain from the evidence that since 1975 you have been a menace to all boys scouts between the ages of 11 ½ and 15, right up to 1982 when at long last your activities were brought to light.

“You introduced these boys, either willing or unwilling, to the most disgusting sexual practices, and showed them from time to time pornographic literature and films.

‘Disgusting’

But that is not all.  At your first interview with Mr Moyses you adopted a fairly reasonable attitude.  You said that you would plead guilty to indecent assault on three of these boys in order to spare them the embarrassment of going into the witness box.

“You didn’t go through with that.  Instead for a fortnight you made it absolutely necessary for 11 boys to go into the witness box and recount in great detail all the disgusting things you did to them”.

During the trial Bates sat calmly in the dock, often straining to hear the quieter boys give their evidence.

He frequently passed notes to his counsel, but as the trial wore on he looked more and more tired, and the note-writing happened less often.

As sentence was passed, he kept his composure and looked unruffled as he was led away by prison officers.

At Spalding Parish Church on Sunday where Bates was a chorister – prayers were said for him during the intercessions.

Reproduced with kind permission of the Lincolnshire Free Press. Tuesday July 19, 1983

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