The former leader of an air cadets’ group in Hucknall, who groomed a teenage girl and had a sexual affair with her, has been jailed for four years.
James Dodd (42) was the commanding officer of the much-respected 1803 (Hucknall) Air Training Corps (ATC) squadron, a voluntary youth organisation which is based off Watnall Road.
Dodd pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to five offences, which related to sexual acts or sexual touching involving a child, dating back to 2006.
It was said in court that he ‘used the girl as an emotional crutch at a time when his marriage was on the rocks’.
“He became involved in what he believed was a genuine relationship,” said Siward James-Moore (defending). “He lost sight of his moral compass and ignored the girl’s age.”
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sat in court as Judge Joan Butler passed sentence.
Dodd, of Masefield Avenue, Holmewood, Chesterfield, was told by Judge Butler: “You took advantage of her. She was young, and she fell in love with you. It is very sad.
“You told her to keep quiet. It was a breach of trust.”
Tina Dempster (prosecuting) told the court that she became friends with Dodd and exchanged text-messages and gave her lifts home.
“The texts became flirty and developed into sexual innuendo and then a sexual relationship. with kissing, touching and oral sex in his car,” she said.
Miss Dempster told how the girl lost her virginity to Dodd.
“She made it clear that, at no time, was she forced to do anything,” said Miss Dempster. “She expected the relationship to be open when his marriage ended.
“However, when she was 18, she found out on Facebook that, after his marriage ended, he was in a relationship with another woman, so things soured.”
Dodd was investigated after a mother lodged a complaint with police about text messages sent to her daughter but no charges were brought.
The police seized Dodd’s computer and phone and found tell-tale images.
In a personal statement handed to the court, the girl described the subsequent investigation as ‘a nightmare’.
“She says she thought her world was about to fall apart,” said Miss Dempster.
“At the time, she had great hope for the relationship. She didn’t want to upset her family. But with hindsight, she realises the true intent of Dodd, which was grooming.”
Dodd was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and also prohibited from any unsupervised contact with females aged under 16.