July 2012

Cadet volunteer jailed for exposing himself to girl

A RESPECTED Army Cadet Force captain has been jailed for exposing himself to a girl in what a judge described as an abuse of his position.

Sentencing Alexander Smith to 16 months in prison, Recorder Anthony Davies QC said he had left the girl feeling scared and anxious.

Smith, who was a volunteer in the cadets for 17 years, talked to the girl about sex before dropping his pants, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

The married father-of-three denied the charge of exposure but he was found guilty after a trial.

The jury took just two hours to reach the verdict.

The girl, 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Smith had given her a lift when he started talking about sex and making suggestive remarks.

They were in his car in Portsmouth when he exposed himself.

Sentencing the 46-year-old, Recorder Davies said: ‘You took advantage of the situation and of her.

‘You were in a position of trust and in a position of authority – you abused both of those.

‘You initiated and pursued conversations of a sexual nature as you drove her.

‘The sexual conversation became more intimate and the questions you asked her more intimate.

‘She could not get out of the car. She progressed from feeling awkward to anxious and to scared.

‘She became confused because she trusted you and respected you and she thought that you would respect her.’

He added: ‘You told her that it never happened. You chose to contest this allegation and force this teenage girl to give evidence.

‘In my view this offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence is justified.’

Smith, of Holt Close, Lee-on-the-Solent, was the county sport officer for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

He was immediately suspended from the organisation when the allegations arose in September 2010.

Stephen Smyth, defending, said: ‘He has lost a great deal. He is a man now of some years and this does seem to be a bit of a one-off.

‘He is finding this case extremely difficult.

‘The next punishment is going on the sex offenders’ list and the shame that goes with that.’

Mr Smyth handed the judge character references from friends and colleagues of Smith and one from his wife.

Smith’s eldest daughter was also in court to support him.

But prosecutor Gary Venturi said: ‘Clearly the victim is deeply affected by the defendant’s actions. Her relationship with adults has been affected.’

Smith will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.