April 2009

Volunteer jailed for child abuse

A St John Ambulance volunteer in Bolton has been jailed after he sexually abused one girl cadet and attempted to engage in sexual acts with two others.

Michael Booth, 22, of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, received an eight month jail sentence after pleading guilty to six offences against children.

He took advantage of his “unfettered access” to the school girls as he was a youth leader, Bolton Crown Court heard.

After meeting the girls he groomed them via the internet, the jury was told.

Two complainants were aged 14 and and the third was 15. One 14-year-old told the police she had been sexually abused in 2007.

Abuse of trust

Prosecutor Tom Fitzpatrick told the court that Booth “ultimately progressed to demonstrate an improper and ultimately unlawful interest in the young girls effectively in his charge”.

Judge William Morris said: “These offences are so serious that I can only now pass an immediate custodial sentence in regard to them.”

Booth pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of taking an indecent photograph of a child and one count of possessing 19 indecent photographs of children.

Booth was sentenced to eight months in prison and ordered to sign on the sex offenders register for 10 years.