A Sea Cadet leader has been convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy in his care, even filming the abuse on his iPhone.
After what was claimed to be a juvenile Navy Lark that got out of hand, Jerome Gay was found guilty of carrying out the sordid attack on one of the youngest members of the dormitory group by acting in concert with another youth.
Livingston Sheriff Court heard evidence that Gay, 18, not only did nothing to stop the sexual attack, he recorded the whole incident on his iPhone and later showed the video to other boys.
The footage was never recovered because Gay claimed he had changed his mobile handset by the time he was detained by police.
The jury was told that the victim’s snoring was keeping people awake during a Sea Cadets training weekend at an Army Cadet Centre in Drumshoreland House, Broxburn, West Lothian.
At first other boys hit him with pillows in a bid to silence him then poked and prodded him to wake him up.
They “giggled and laughed” while Gay used his iPhone as a video camera to film the youngster being dragged – still sleeping – out of his bunk bed and onto the floor.
Although he was in charge of the dorm, he did nothing to stop another Cadet pulling the boy out of his sleeping bag and stripping him of his pyjamas before groping him.
One witness told the jury that the youngster involved “simulated sexual positions” with the victim while he was still asleep.
He said he thought the experience was unfair for the boy involved.
Giving evidence from behind a screen, the victim, now aged 14, told of his shock at waking up naked on the floor. He said he still felt “sad and really embarrassed” by the ordeal.
Sea Cadets petty officer Michael Kaszuba, 51, said he thought at first the incident was “a prank that had gone too far”.
It was only later that he learned from another Sea Cadet officer, the mother of one of the boys, that Gay had shown a video of the assault to others.
Gay, from East Linton, East Lothian, denied committing the offence in November 2012 and lodged a special defence of incrimination.
Following the guilty verdict, Sheriff Susan Craig called for background reports and told Gay he would be sentenced on March 19.
Sea Cadets, sponsored by the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy is the UK’s largest maritime youth charity.
Members can learn how to tie knots, do adventure training and go sailing, all on a naval theme.