Leighton Naval Cadets petty officer admits sexual activity with underage girls

Leighton Buzzard
Leighton Buzzard

A petty officer in the Naval Cadet Corps in Leighton Buzzard has admitted sexual activity with two underage girls.

Alexander Johnston changed his plea to guilty on some of the charges he faced after one of the 15-year-old girls’ videoed police interviews had been played to the jury at Luton Crown Court.

Prosecutor Simon Wilshire said Johnston developed a sexual interest in the two teenagers in the summer of 2013 and made sexual advances towards them.

He flattered one girl and persuaded her to engage in intimate sexual acts while out together in Leighton Buzzard and in Milton Keynes.

He is also alleged to have kissed the second girl on a trip to Belgium and then again in Mentmore Park in Linslade.

Mr Johnston, now 30, of Ennerdale Close, Bletchley, initially denied seven charges of sexual activity with a child against two girls. Five related to the first girl and two to the other. He pleaded guilty to three charges against the first girl and to the two against the second. The two outstanding charges are to lie on the file.

Opening the case, Mr Wilshire told the jury of seven women and five men: “The allegations are of sexual misconduct towards two girls when he was petty officer with the naval cadets. Both girls were under 16 and he was 26. The allegations came to light in 2015 when one told her parents.

“It appears that during summer camp and afterwards, Mr Johnston developed a sexual interest in the girls and began to make advances to them.”

Mr Wilshire alleged that in Belgium the defendant had made lewd comments about the first girl’s bottom and had sexual conversations with her asking who she fancied and if she fancied him.#

Back in Leighton Buzzard they are said to have indulged in sexual activity after walking along a river bank and, eight days later, in a park. She is also said to have gone with him to a room in Caldecotte, Milton Keynes, where there was more sexual activity.

In the summer of 2014, the girl is alleged to have told a woman that “things had been happening.” It was reported to the Naval Cadets and Mr Johnston was suspended. He denied anything had happened and, at that time, the girl withdrew the allegations.

The prosecutor alleged the defendant also sent naked pictures of himself to the second girl. When her parents found out about messages he had sent, she was told never to contact him again and he was warned the police would be contacted.

It was not until the summer of 2015 that complaints were made to the police.

Judge Lynn Tayton QC adjourned sentence for reports to be prepared on Johnston.

No date has been fixed for sentence.