December 2019

Air cadet sergeant performed sex act while FaceTiming schoolgirl

An air cadet sergeant performed sex acts during FaceTime calls to a schoolgirl and talked her into doing the same.

James Bretherton, who was part of a Merseyside Air Training Corps squadron, exploited a 13-year-old girl online.

The 19-year-old sobbed in the dock at Liverpool Crown Court when he admitted the despicable abuse last month .

The shamefaced teen – 17 at the time of the offences – hid from cameras when he left the building on bail ahead of sentencing.

But he was locked up on Friday when the extent of his crimes – some details of which are too graphic to publish in the ECHO – were revealed.

Bretherton, of Burnthwaite Road, Knotty Ash, admitted two counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

The court heard both of these charges related to Bretherton performing a sex act while using the video call service FaceTime.

He also pleaded guilty to causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, namely by requesting intimate images of her.

Bretherton burst into tears when he admitted two further counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

These charges – the details of which are too extreme to print – related to him requesting the girl to perform a sex act.

The crying teen, with short brown hair and wearing a blue suit, was supported by his parents in the public gallery.

Sarah Holt, prosecuting, said the young victim was left feeling guilty and believed she had let her family down.

Michael O’Brien, defending, presented numerous references on behalf of Bretherton, who has no previous convictions.

The court heard he had achieved a bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, was a trained first aider and former Young Lord Mayor.

Judge Louise Brandon sentenced Bretherton to two years and three months in a young offenders institution.

She told him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and to comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.