January 2017

2nd set of sex offences for army man

An army reservist is a “broken man” because a jury convicted him of his second set of sex offences, York Crown Court heard.

Paedophile Oliver Charles Gates, 34, refused to accept he was the man who downloaded more than 600 indecent videos and pictures of children found in his bedroom for nearly two years.

At his trial he claimed: “I have no sexual interest in young girls,” despite having convictions for indecently assaulting and gross indecency with a 13-year-old girl.

His barrister Jeremy Hill-Baker said he changed his mind within minutes of the jury returning 11 guilty verdicts on 11 counts of having or making indecent images of children and urged the judge to consider a sentence which would enable Gates to keep his freedom.

“He is a broken man,” said the barrister. “He wishes now to face up to all of this because the alternative is unbearable.”

He successfully applied for sentence to be adjourned while probation officers assess whether Gates is suitable to go on a sex offenders’ rehabilitation course as part of a sentence in the community.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told Grant the evidence that he had downloaded and possessed a large number of illegal images over a long period of time had been “overwhelming”.

“You have been convicted of offences which cause the court to have great concern about you and your behaviour, especially in the light of what you have done in the past. You have buried your head in the sand.

“You must not assume by me granting you bail today that when we meet again you will be receiving a non-custodial sentence.”

Gates, of Thoresby Road, Acomb, had denied all the charges. He covered his face after the verdicts and shook slightly in the dock as the judge adjourned sentence.

He was granted bail until February 24 when he will be sentenced and was put on the sex offenders’ register. The prosecution will then ask the judge to make a sexual harm prevention order restricting his behaviour in future to try and prevent him committing more offences.

The indecent assault and gross indecency offences were committed in 2003, the jury heard.

During the trial they heard evidence that police raided his home on March 10, 2015, and found the illegal images on an iPod and a memory stick in Gates’ bedroom. They also found the hard drive he had used to download the images between April 19, 2012, and March 2, 2015.