October 2006

Child pervert soldier jailed

PAEDOPHILE soldier from the Midlands who committed countless horrific sex attacks on young boys during a 22-year career in the British Army has been jailed for eight years. 

Mark Andrew Walker, 42, was told at Worcester Crown Court that the offences, committed against boys aged between seven and 15, had caused “incalculable” psychological harm. 

Walker, who rose to staff sergeant before leaving the Army in 2005 and was employed as an engineer and Army youth worker, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to 27 counts of indecent assault and six charges of sexual activity with a child. 

Stephen Davies, prosecuting, said Walker, of Credenhill, Hereford, was arrested in November 2005 after a complaint of sexual abuse was made against him. 

The defendant, a father-of-two, initially denied any wrongdoing but later admitted sexually abusing six boys between 1981 and 2005. 

Walker, a veteran of the first Gulf War, who was ordered to register as a sex offender for life, admitted to police that he was sexually attracted to children. 

Defence lawyer, Anthony Weston, said his client had committed horrifying and sordid crimes which had inevitably led to the break-up of his relationship with his wife. 

Judge Andrew Geddes said he had no doubt that Walker, who was decorated for service in Northern Ireland and Kosovo, had been a good soldier. 

But the judge added: “The abuse in my judgment was very serious indeed. The harm you have done to these children and their families is incalculable.”. 

Speaking after the court hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Ivan Powell of West Mercia Police said: “Mark Walker was a respected authority figure who abused that trust in the most appalling way, showing a total disregard for the damaging effect his actions must have had on his victims. 

“These were extremely serious offences, made worse by the frequency with which they took place over an extended period. 

“Many of the victims have suffered in silence for years, feeling completely unable to tell even their closest family members what had happened to them.”