Gulf War veteran is jailed for sex as­sault

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ @Etetephenb

A FOR­MER nu­clear sub­ma­rine of­fi­cer and war veteran sex­u­ally as­saulted a teenage girl while he was drunk.

Paul Knowles (44), of Far­ri­ers Court, Or­ton Longueville, Peter­bor­ough, served in the first Gulf War, achiev­ing the rank of Petty Of­fi­cer while serv­ing in sub­marines with the Royal Navy.

But he was jailed for 32 months, his rep­u­ta­tion in tat­ters, af­ter plead­ing guilty to sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a girl at Peter­bor­ough Crown Court on Fri­day.

He was also or­dered to sign the sex of­fend­ers’ reg­is­ter as well as be­ing banned from work­ing with chil­dren in the fu­ture.

The court heard how Knowles, the girl and her mother, who can­not be named, had been drink­ing when all three went back to his house.

Alex young, prose­cut­ing, said: “The of­fence took place in May last year.

“The de­fen­dant, the com­plainant and her mother had been to a bar and then went back to his house, where they de­cided to stay the night.

“The com­plainant de­scribes both adults as drunk and she was a lit­tle bit drunk.

“The de­fen­dant had given the com­plainant’s mother a mas­sage and she had passed out through drink.

“While she was just two or three feet away, the com­plainant then asked the de­fen­dant to give her a mas­sage.

“She started to fall asleep and the de­fen­dant then slipped his hand into the com­plainant’s trousers.

“He was also kiss­ing her on the neck. She tried to grab his hand and pull it away, but was not able to do so.

“She then pre­tended to be asleep, hop­ing he would stop, but he only stopped when she threw her­self to her feet, wak­ing her mother up.”

Mr Young said Knowles texted the com­plainant in the morn­ing ask­ing if he could call her, but she did not respond to him.

The girl then told her friends about the in­ci­dent, who told her to call the po­lice.

Dur­ing the in­ter­view Knowles said he was sur­prised she was un­der age.

Re­becca Ran­dall, de­fend­ing, said: “He says he can­not re­mem­ber the in­ci­dent, as he was in a semi-co­matose state.

“He has ac­cepted re­spon­si­bil­ity and shown re­morse.

“He served in the armed forces, work­ing up to the rank of Petty Of­fi­cer, and served on sub­marines in­clud­ing HMS Splen­did, HMS Sov­er­eign and HMS Vengeance.

“He is a man of pos­i­tive good char­ac­ter, who served his coun­try for 20 years.”

Knowles pleaded guilty to the of­fence on the day his trial was set to start.

Judge Nic Madge, sen­tenc­ing, said: “Although the vic­tim at­tended court, she was spared the or­deal of giv­ing ev­i­dence.

“This was very dis­tress­ing and up­set­ting in­ci­dent for the vic­tim which has caused emo­tional dis­tress and trauma.”

Jailed: Paul Knowles

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