[Scout] Youths Deny Making Up Allegations

[Scout] Youths Deny Making Up Allegations

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Spalding police constable John Bates – charged with indecently assaulting young boys – has been described by a police inspector as “a first-class leader and scout organiser”.

Insp Keith Woods, also an administrator of scouts, told Nottingham Crown Court that 35-year-old Bates had devoted a great deal of his spare time to scouting.

Spalding Guardian, Friday July 8, 1983

Bates, of 75c Pinchbeck Road, Spalding, is charged with 11 offences of indecently assaulting boys aged between 11 and 15, and four of committing serious sexual offences with three boys, aged 12 and 14.  He has denied all the charges.

Allegations that Bates had been interfering with some of the boys were brought to Insp Woods’ attention.

The court heard on Monday that Insp Woods asked if he could have a word with Bates.  Bates said: “I haven’t laid a finger on these boys.”

When Insp Woods told him the facts would be reported, Bates is alleged to have said: “That will mean a move, but I was thinking of asking for one anyway.”


A Spalding youth told the court how Bates, who was his scoutmaster, constantly reassured him about their sexual relationship.

The youth, now 17, said he was surprised and shocked when Bates made approaches to him at his flat in Gore Lane, Spalding.

“I was alarmed, and at first tried to stop him doing it.  But he said I was to relax, and not to struggle,” the youth said.

“He tried to justify it by saying that if both parties enjoyed it and were willing, there was nothing wrong with it.  He would argue against my reluctance.”

Another youth, a former Ketton scout, told how Bates unzipped his sleeping bag and indecently assaulted him one night after they had been working to convert an old bungalow into a scout hut.

Both youths denied suggestions by Mr Brian Smedley, QC, defending, that they had made up the allegations against Bates.

Dr Alexander Walton, of Spalding, carried out medical examinations on four boys.  In three cases, he discovered evidence to suggest that serious sexual offences might have taken place.

Sex films

Pc Ernie Marriott, stationed at Spalding, told how he became a friend of Pc Alan Bradley.  Pc Marriott borrowed three sex films from the other officer, and they were also loaned to Pc Fred Collins and Bates.

On Tuesday, Detective Chief Inspector Bob Warner told the Judge, the Hon Mr Justice Park and the nine-man, three-women jury, how he and Detective Chief Superintendent Ray Moyses had met Bates at Spalding police station on June 10, last year.

They later went to his home in Pinchbeck Road, where they looked round and took away 34 sex books and magazines, and a few loose glossy magazine pages, depicting group sex between men and women.

Det Chief Supt Moyses told Bates he was being suspended from the police force immediately, and took possession of his warrant card, pocket book and locker keys.

The two officers asked Bates about the allegations made against him by the boys, and Bates is alleged to have admitted indecently assaulting three Spalding boys.

Speaking about one boy, (to page 2) Bates said: “I fell in love with him, and he loves me.  We have a very close relationship and it just developed.  It always happened on the settee.”

He is alleged to have told the officers that his homosexual tendencies might have stemmed from being seriously assaulted sexually when he was a young boy.

Bates is then alleged to have said: “I don’t want to drag these boys through the courts.  I don’t want to embarrass them.  I will admit indecent assault on these three boys and I will take my punishment.  I have lost my job and I will have to go to prison for this.”


The officers told Bates they were not in a position to interview him formally, and he said he could consult a solicitor.

But five weeks later, during a six-hour interview at police headquarters in Nettleham, near Lincoln, Bates denied assaulting any of the boys, and claimed they were all telling lies.

He said three of the boys had conspired against him after he had cause to reprimand them for allowing a girl to sleep in their tent at a camp in Surfleet.

Bates denied showing the boys pornographic books, playing cards and films.

He said about one boy: “I admit putting my arms round him.  It was sort of fatherly love. He wasn’t getting any love at all.”

Mr Moyses asked Bates if he realised the seriousness of the allegations, and he replied: “I am on the other end of the allegations.  Whatever happens, my life has been ruined.”

On Wednesday the court heard how Bates denied being homosexual and told senior police officers he had recently spent the night with a girlfriend.

But an investigating chief inspector has denied he ever asked Bates if he was homosexual and said he never spoke of a girlfriend staying the night.

Mr Brian Smedley, QC, said the girlfriend was specifically mentioned by Bates during a police interview.

But Detective Chief Inspector Bob Warner said: “These suggestions are totally incorrect.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Ray Moyses told the jury how Bates confessed his love affair with a 14-year-old boy.

Mr Moyses said Bates told him: “I fell in love with him and he loves me.  We have a very close relationship and it just developed.

“He would snuggle up against me when we were watching television.  I kissed and touched him.”

Mr Moyses said Bates told him the affair went on for two years.  And he said Bates admitted indecently assaulting three boys but denied more serious offences.

Mr Moyses continued: “I asked Bates: ‘How long have you had homosexual tendencies?’  He replied, ‘The past three years – it just developed.  I had a girlfriend and might have married her.  This may have started when I was a child’.”

Mr Moyses said Bates claimed he had been the victim of a serious sex attack when he was a boy and said it may have contributed to his homosexuality.

Bates now denies he ever made the admissions.

RAF Holbeach

The court also heard how three other policemen at Holbeach and Spalding watched pornographic films that Bates is alleged to have shown the boys.

And the jury heard how blue films were also taken to RAF Holbeach.

Mr Smedley said Bates had not had pornographic films for three years at the time of police interviews.

He said Bates lost them when he took them to a games evening at RAF Holbeach.

On Wednesday afternoon the jury retired for 35 minutes to look at some of the pornographic material offered in evidence.

When they returned Bates went into the witness box at the start of his defence.

He spent 20 minutes giving details of his career in the RAF and the police force and his involvement with the scout movement.

The case continues.

Reproduced with kind permission of the Spalding Guardian. Friday July 8, 1983

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