Gulf War veteran is jailed for sex assault
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