'Jimmy Savile' scout leader John Edward Bates jailed

John Edward Bates Image copyright Spalding Guardian
Image caption Bates was told he had betrayed the trust of boys in his care

A former police officer branded "the Jimmy Savile of the scouting world" by his victims has been jailed for a string of sex attacks on boys.

Ex scout-leader John Edward Bates, 68, abused his position to abuse four victims in Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

He had denied 22 charges of indecent assault and indecency with a child but was found guilty of 18 after a trial.

Bates was given a 20-year jail sentence at Lincoln Crown Court.

The offences took place between March 1972 and October 1989.

During the trial, the court heard Bates abused two boys while he was a scout leader in Wittering where he served in the Royal Air Force.

'Misery and upset'

He later became a scout leader in Spalding, Lincolnshire, and went on to abuse two more boys.

Sentencing, Judge Simon Hirst said he was a predatory man who abused the enormous trust placed in him by his victims.

He said: "You did them all real lasting damage - you did it for no other reason than to obtain sexual gratification for yourself."

In court, one victim described Bates as a "monster, "the Jimmy Savile of the scouting world"

Another described Bates' conviction as "the beginning of the end of my hell."

Speaking outside court, Det Sgt Tim Wilkinson, of Lincolnshire Police, praised the victims for speaking out.

Det Sgt Wilkinson said: "They looked up to him, respected him, and all John Bates has done is cause misery and upset," he said.

Bates, who served with Lincolnshire Police between 1976 and 1983, claimed his victims had fabricated evidence against him.

He had previously served a four-year jail sentence for offences against young boys, imposed at Nottingham Crown Court, after an investigation in 1982.

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