Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

My hell is over, says Sea Cadet victim as tormentor is jailed

Pervert's sex attack hearing ordeal was nightmare says mum

AN ex-Sea Cadet who was in court to see the instructor who sexually abused him get a six-and-a-half year jail sentence said last night he was glad his "living hell" was over.

AN ex-Sea Cadet who was in court to see the instructor who sexually abused him get a six-and-a-half year jail sentence said last night he was glad his "living hell" was over.

Scott McCutcheon, (21) from Roslyn Street, Belfast, was sentenced yesterday for a total of 13 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency involving two cadets which took place at the former Calvin Street Sea Cadet premises, known as the "Training Ship Formidable" in east Belfast, between April 2000 and November 2003.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph after the sentence was handed down, one of his victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons said: "This has been a horrendous living hell for me, but I feel relieved now.

"I'm happy with what he got. We expected five. It means he goes to jail, plus closure for me and my family too."

His mother added: "The two-and-a-half weeks of the trial were just a total nightmare. I'm glad justice has been done. It is a total relief for us - now we can close the book on this. I will never forget this as long as I live."

Talking about how she reacted when she heard about the horrific ordeal her son had suffered at the hands of McCutcheon, she said: "I couldn't believe it. It happened to my son and I knew nothing about it. I was totally devastated.

"I trusted the Sea Cadets with the care of my son."

She said that despite the effect both the abuse itself and the experience of the trial has had on her son, he would get on with his life.

"He had to drop out of university after the trial as he couldn't concentrate, but now he is doing an Open University course. He can look forward to the future and get on with his life," she said.

Both the victim, who is now on anti-depressants, and his mother encouraged others who may have been abused to come forward.

"I still think there are other children out there that this has happened to; they should come forward so that justice can be done," she said.

Jailing McCutcheon at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Finnegan said: "You acted as a predator, taking advantage of the position of trust given to you by the Sea Cadets to satiate your own desires and in turn tried to corrupt these two young men."

Placing him on the Sex Offenders' Register for life, he told McCutcheon: "It will ensure you are never back in the same position where young men were attacked."

McCutcheon was handed a six-and-a-half year sentence for a total of seven charges of gross indecency and one-and-a-half year sentence, to run concurrently, for six charges of gross indecency.

During the trial last month, the jury failed to reach any verdicts on rape and charges of sexious sexual assault.

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