November 2010

‘Wicked’ ex-Marine and adventurer jailed for sexually assaulting girls

A BEST-SELLING author who gave talks to schoolchildren has been jailed for sexually assaulting three young girls.

Former Royal Marine David Fletcher, 64, has been jailed for nine years after a jury unanimously convicted him of eight counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault.

Fletcher, who had no previous convictions, visited schools across the city to talk about his book Hunted which recalled his escape from a bear on a mountain in Alaska.

He has been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Two girls were aged five and one was aged eight and the offences took place in Hull.

He bribed one of the girls with money and told the police that they were all lying.

In sentencing Fletcher, of west Hull, at Hull Crown Court Judge Jeremy Richardson QC described him as “wicked and depraved”.

He said: “You debauched each of these three young children. Two of the young girls have been adversely affected. You have caused them to give evidence and have effectively accused them of telling malicious lies about you whilst you have masqueraded on bogus respect.

“You are a thoroughly wicked and depraved individual. You thoroughly deserve this sentence.

“Justice has now been done.”

Fletcher sold 20,000 copies of his book which recounted his epic journey to climb Mount Hess in Alaska in 1980.

He was introduced to mountain climbing during his seven years service with the Marines in the 1960s before embarking on a 20-year climbing career in which he scaled some of the world’s most difficult peaks.

Fletcher, who was once a foreman for the city council, was climbing alone in the wilderness when he accidentally killed a bear cub with his ice hammer.

The bear’s mother, who Fletcher said was 10ft high, then attacked him and tried to kill him, according to the story.

As well as writing a book, Fletcher has given specialist advice on Hollywood film sets including mountain-based thriller movie The Eiger Sanction, starring Clint Eastwood, after he successfully scaled the mountain himself.