CHILD ABUSING Strathaven army cadet sergeant JAILED for 1 year & 9 months


A Strathaven army cadet sergeant was last week jailed for a year and nine months after being exposed as a child abuser who filmed himself carrying out vile sex acts with a young boy.

Depraved Craig Bannatyne (22) was snared after a 15-year-old boy found his mobile phone taped to the wall of a gents’ toilet in the cadet hall.

It was later discovered that the pervert had been trying to secretly record young recruits at the urinals by setting the iPhone to record video images.

A probe was launched and on January 30 last year, officers raided Bannatyne’s Motherwell home where they seized a laptop from his bedroom containing 21 indecent images of children.

The vile child sex abuse pictures were category A level – the most extreme – and showed adults sexually assaulting children as young as six months.

Following further forensic investigation of his computer, police also discovered sickening footage of Bannatyne forcing a 12-year-old boy to perform sex acts on him.

Shamed Bannatyne broke down during a police interview and admitted to cops the laptop was his and that indecent images of children were there.

He pled guilty to assaulting the boy and possession of illegal images of children. He went on to plead guilty to bombarding his young victim with text messages between June 18, 2014, and July 19, 2015.

The court heard last month that a total of 4234 messages were discovered between the accused and the victim.

At Hamilton Sheriff Court today Bannatyne’s defence lawyer said his client came from a good, supportive family and understood the seriousness of the charges.

He said: “The offending started when he was from 18 years of age and the most serious charge was committed when he was 20.

“It’s a progression when you see this certain type of behaviour. These are very serious charges, the issue is whether he receives a substantial custodial sentence or a community payback order.”

Sheriff Ray Small said because of the sexual assault it was difficult for him to consider dealing with Bannatyne in any way other than custody.

“My concern is one of these charges goes beyond images – the sexual assault of a child while in a position of trust,” he said.

Sentencing Bannatyne, Sheriff Small said: “Because of the gravity of these charges the only appropriate disposal is a custodial sentence.

“Due to the seriousness of these offences, I need to ensure the public is protected. Therefore, I will pass an extended sentence of 33 months.”

The sheriff imposed a 21-month jail term and told Bannatyne he will be supervised for a further 12 months upon his release.

Bannatyne was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and told he should never work with children again.

Sheriff Small added: “Because the offences involved children, I will recommend to the Scottish Ministers that you are unsuitable to work with children.”

A spokesman for NSPCC Scotland said: “Bannatyne carried out an array of offences against children and it’s vital he receives treatment behind bars to reduce any risk he poses on his release.

“He subjected one child to horrific abuse and we hope that victim is now receiving all possible support to recover from his ordeal.

“Sexual crimes against children are offences of the utmost seriousness and have a devastating effect on the victims which can last into adulthood.

“Downloading and making indecent images of children are also extremely serious crimes with every one of these images capturing a crime scene involving a real child victim.”


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