Ex-Salvation Army cadet leader locked up for historic sex offences on teenage girl

A 72-year-old man from Sheffield has been sentenced to five years in prison for sex offences dating back to 1978

By: Jake Loader
Date: 08/11/2021

A former Salvation Army cadet leader who sexually assaulted a young teenager has been sentenced to five years behind bars.

Wesley Hedge admitted to the grim offences on his victim, who was younger than 16-years-old when she was subjected to the heinous crimes that took place between 1978 and 1980.

The evil 72-year-old touched the girl’s breast, got her to feel his genitals and committed other sex acts, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Temporary Detective Sergeant Susi Taylor, from South Yorkshire Police, said Hedge had a ‘devastating and lasting impact on his victim’.

She praised the ‘bravery’ to come forward about the assaults and said it is ‘absolutely right’ he has been locked up for a lengthy sentence.

“It is so important that any victim of sexual abuse feels they can speak out and seek help and support, we are here to listen and will always strive to bring offenders before the courts,” she added.

At the time of the crimes the teenager didn’t realise she was being groomed and thought she was in love with her abuser, a sentencing hearing heard.

Detectives said they were ‘pleased’ with the five-year sentence

Hedge brought the underage girl to his house whilst his wife wasn’t in, Prosecutor Ian Goldsack told the court.

Top cop Taylor said: “The ripple effects of crimes such as Wesley Hedge’s are significant, I am pleased with the sentence he has received.

“I want to reassure the public that South Yorkshire Police is committed to investigating all reports and we have specially trained officers and partner agencies who can offer support and advice.

“In some cases, it takes a relative, family member, friend or loved one to take those first steps so my message is to everyone, if you have concerns, speak to us.

“Your actions could help safeguard or protect someone who is vulnerable, and they could also bring offenders to justice.”

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