A FORMER soldier who ‘turned children into sex objects’ has been given a 25-year extended prison sentence.
Frank Stott was earlier this month found guilty by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court of offences including 10 counts of raping a child under 13.
He was also convicted of six counts of sexual activity with a child, two of sexual assault and one each of attempted rape and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
On Friday, Judge James Goss, the Recorder of Newcastle, gave him a 25-year extended sentence, with 21 years in custody, of which he must serve at least two-thirds.
Stott, who served with the Coldstream Guards, trained with the SAS and saw active service in Iraq during an army career spanning more than 20 years. He had previously admitted possessing and making more than a thousand indecent images of children.
At the time of his arrest last year, the 44-year-old was a range instructor at Defence Training Estate Otterburn, where he took one of his victims for sex, the jury heard.
Stott, of Tweed Avenue, Ellington, was arrested after the girl he had a relationship with between the ages of 13 and 16 made a complaint to police.
Officers then found more than an hour’s worth of video footage on his mobile phone of him raping and sexually abusing another girl when she was aged eight and nine.
The father-of-three, who is not related to either victim, claimed the relationship with the first girl started when she was 16, while he said the abuse of the younger girl did not involve penetration.
Caroline Goodwin, defending, said Stott, who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder from his time in the forces, had an ‘exemplary record’ since joining the army in 1987.
“In 2009, he was still spoken of as an army professional who was invaluable,” she said, but admitted that he was ‘adept at presenting a smoke screen’.
Referring to the first victim, Judge Goss said: “From the age of 13 until 16, you regularly had sexual intercourse with her. She believed she was in love with you.
“Your second victim was eight years old. She had been the victim of abuse when she was three years old, which was something that you knew.
“You groomed her, engaging in sexual activity and repeatedly raping her.
“It was a gross breach of trust. She has been completely sexualised and was treated by you as an adult sex object.
“The psychological impact on her is likely to be profound and permanent.”
He also described Stott as a ‘calculated risk-taker’ and ‘manipulative’.