Former police officer John Edward Bates jailed for abusing boys in Cambridgeshire

Former police officer branded "the Jimmy Savile of the scouting world" was today jailed for a series of historic sexual assaults on four young boys in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. John Edward Bates, 68, assaulted kids as young as 10, who he showed pornographic films and magazines to before abusing them during visits to his home in the 1970s and 80s. He denied 22 charges against him, claiming that the victims fabricated the evidence against him, but a jury found him guilty of 16 charges of indecent assault on a male person.

He was also convicted of two charges of indecency with a child at Lincoln rown ourt on hursday. Bates, who served with Lincolnshire Police between 1976 and 1983 before being dismissed from the force, was cleared of two further charges of indecent assault and two serious sexual offences. Judge Simon Hirst described a predatory man who abused the enormous trust placed in him as a scout leader and police officer. Jailing him for a total of 20 years, the judge said: "You did them all real lasting damage - you did it for no other reason than to obtain sexual gratification for yourself." During the trial, the jury heard that Bates, from Spalding, Lincs., had previously served a four year jail sentence for offences against young boys imposed at Nottingham rown ourt after an earlier investigation into him back in 1982. Prosecutor Grace Hale told the jury that Bates abused two of the boys while he was a scout leader in Wittering, Lincs., where he served in the Royal Air Force. 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 40-year...living hell." One witness told the jury that he was repeatedly abused by Bates from when he was just 10-years-old.

He said that Bates took him for a weekend in London where they watched Chelsea play and then sexually assaulted him at their overnight accommodation. Verisona Law have specific expertise in dealing with claims in respect of alleged assalts carried out by Scoutmasters. If you were subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact harles erham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.


Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

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