Beds, Herts & Bucks

Ex-RAF man jailed for sex assaults in Shillington

A former RAF Squadron Leader has been jailed for five and a half years for sexually assaulting two teenage boys he took home from a Bedfordshire pub.

Thomas McGrath, 40, of Hanscombe End Road, Shillington, committed the first sexual assault on a boy, 15, who was at his home on New Year's Day 2007.

In June 2012 he molested a boy, 16, who stayed at his home after celebrating the Queen's Jubilee in the pub.

McGrath had denied the charges but was convicted at Luton Crown Court.

Prosecutor Maryam Syed told the court that the offences happened at McGrath's home where he lived alone.

Confided in ex-girlfriend

She said the first victim had been befriended by McGrath.

After seeing in the New Year at the Musgrave Arms in the village, the 15-year-old, who had been drinking, went back with McGrath and another man to his home, the court heard.

There, she said, McGrath fell asleep on the sofa and boy ended up sleeping on top of duvet in the defendant's bedroom.

At 04:00 GMT the boy woke to find Mr McGrath sexually assaulting him.

In the weeks after the sex assault McGrath treated the boy to trips to London and bought him a £70 pair of leather trousers, the court was told.

The boy suppressed what had happened until the early hours of Christmas Day 2011 when he confided in an ex-girlfriend, the court heard.

'Upstanding individual'

The second teenager stayed the night in McGrath's spare room and was woken by McGrath sexually assaulting him. He reported the assault to the police.

McGrath pleaded not guilty to causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent and sexual assault. He was convicted by the jury on both counts.

Defence barrister Amjad Malik QC said McGrath had been "an upstanding individual" in the Shillington community.

Jailing him Judge Michael Kay QC said aggravating factors included the "opportunistic use of alcohol and a breach of trust".

McGrath must sign the Sex Offender's Register indefinitely.

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