A former Army Cadet Leader, George Walker (80) who abused boys in East Lancashire under his command is likely to die behind bars.
Walker was a Lieutenant and later a Captain with the Forces’ Burnley & Haslingden detachments in the mid 1970s. Holding this position of trust, he embarked on a campaign of abuse with impressionable cadets whom he was there to care for.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Walker had befriended parents of the boys and began with kissing and fondling of the youngsters, but his acts quickly escalated to offences comparable to rape.
Judge Andrew Jefferies QC heard evidence from victims who confirmed grooming as well as wildly inaccurate claims from Walker that he would fulfil their dreams of joining the military when, in reality, his victims spiralled to a point where they considered or even attempted suicide in later life.
Despite his denials, Walker was first convicted of molesting two Army cadets in 2017 and, after a trial, was jailed for 5 years and 3 months. It was the coverage in local publications which prompted further victims to come forward to inform Lancashire Constabulary about their similar ordeals.
During his latest trial however, Walker pleaded guilty to 20 indecent offences involving boys as young as 13 in the 1970s.
Judge Andrew Jefferies QC jailed Walker for a further period of 8 years and 4 months and in doing so, commented that Walker’s victims still harboured guilt that they had not come forward at an earlier date and reported the abuse as this may have spared others the same ordeal.
Judge Jefferies addressed this issue with Walker, stating that “none of the victims should feel an ounce of shame or guilt. The guilt and shame is all yours”.
Walker’s Defence Counsel stated that Walker “now accepted, albeit late in life, the gravity and seriousness of his criminal offending and recognised the impact that this had had on his many victims.”
Aside of the conviction following the trial in 2017, the Court heard that Walker had also been convicted of the offence of buggery in 1982 involving a cadet for which he was jailed for a 3 year period.
I have successfully acted for previous victims of George Walker in presenting claims against the Ministry of Defence. Whilst I realise that this will never rectify past events, pursuing a claim can often help to ensure that our clients finally bring a sense of closure to their ordeals and provide valuable resources to fund medical treatment going forward.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse, we would welcome hearing from you. We appreciate that it is often difficult to talk about what has happened and our team of compassionate solicitors are available to support you through this traumatic period.
Farleys Solicitors specialise in abuse work and can be contacted in the strictest of confidence to discuss matters via our dedicated Abuse Line 0330 034 6430 or via our online system.