Air cadets jailed for sex crimes

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TWO air cadet brothers have been jailed for sexual offences against a schoolgirl.

The mother of Michael and Christopher Bate’s teenaged victim today accused the men of a gross breach of trust and said they had left the girl “messed up” and in need of counselling.

Michael Bate, 20, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to six counts of sexual activity with a child between May and October last year when the victim was just 14.

His 28-year-old brother admitted to arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence. He sent Facebook messages to her suggesting they met for sex.

Both men, of Bromley Drive, Leigh, helped to run Leigh Air Cadets and it was there they met their victim. They have now been expelled.

At court Michael Bate was given a three-year jail term, a five-year restraining order and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely. His brother was imprisoned for 12 months, given a five-year restraining order and placed on the register for 10 years.

The girl’s mum said that while she was reasonably satisfied with the sentences she was furious with the men for their betrayal.

She said: “My daughter had been bullied at school and so she joined the cadets to make new friends. Mike Bate befriended and groomed her, bringing friends round to the house and committed sexual offences over several months.

“It was a gross breach of trust. Later Chris tried to get in on the act but we spotted the messages he had sent to her. Eventually she broke down and told us everything. We were disgusted and told the police.”

The girl has since received counselling and social services help. The mum said: “This ordeal has really messed her up.”