The former secretary of the Corby British Legion was sentenced to 12 years and eight months in prison for historic sex offenses against children.
Stephen Mitchell, 58, of Crow Lane, Northampton, but formerly of Corby and Lowestoft, was sentenced on Tuesday March 22 at Northampton Crown Court after pleading guilty to a number of offences. The most serious of Mitchell’s offenses was the attempted rape of a child under 14.
The families of the victims wept in the public galleries as Mitchell’s accusations were read and described in full.
Mitchell – who was a staff sergeant in the Royal Corps of Transport and served for a time as Corby RBL secretary – was arrested on August 15 last year after the parents of one of his young victims reported the accused to the police. Another victim then came forward, and then Mitchell informed officers that he wanted to confess to crimes against a third victim.
Prosecuting Sally Hobson told the court Mitchell’s actions had a “significant impact” on her young victims. She described how one of her victims is now receiving counseling and self-harming because it “helps her forget for a short time”.
Ms Hobson said: “He feels there are permanent marks on his skin that he can’t wash off.”
A second victim, who was present in court during Mitchell’s sentencing, requested that her personal victim statement be read aloud.
He described how her innocence was taken from her and as a result she was “filled with pain and torture”. She said she lost friends, partners, family members and even herself because she “let go of the thought of happiness”. She added that she took up drinking, had to quit a job she loved and barely left the house.
The statement says that after finding out about Mitchell’s other victims, she even blamed herself for not going to the police as a child.
Liam Muir, defending, said a ‘hugely significant mitigation’ was Mitchell’s engagement with police, his guilty pleas and the fact that he told them about the third victim, who did not come forward. manifested at that time.
In total, Mitchell was charged with two counts of assault by fondling of a boy, five counts of indecent assault of a girl, attempted rape of a girl, two counts of incitement of a boy to engage in sexual activity and one count of engaging in sexual activity. sexual activity with a girl.
His Honor Judge Mayo sentenced Mitchell to 12 years and eight months in prison. He further slapped Mitchell with a restraining order that bars him from having any direct or indirect contact with his victims.
A sexual abuse prevention order was also issued indefinitely, which bars Mitchell from having any unsupervised contact with children under 16. This order further prohibits Mitchell from staying in a home with a child under the age of 16.
Judge Mayo said: “It is remarkable that these people have come forward with remarkable bravery with the remarkable support of their families.”
Lead Investigator – DC Laura Beeby of the Force Child Protection Team, said: ‘The bravery shown by survivors of Stephen Mitchell’s abuse has been incredible throughout this case.
“All three have been through things no one should ever have to go through, but they and their supporting families showed unrelenting courage and determination from start to finish.
“No sentence can erase what happened to them, but hopefully it will help give them a sense of justice and know that Mitchell is now behind bars.
“Northamptonshire Police take reports of sexual assault, whether recent or not, very seriously and we will always treat them with sensitivity and confidentiality.
“I hope this case demonstrates that and encourages others who have experienced abuse to have the confidence to report it to us.”