Former BA Pilot Jailed For Child Sex Offences

A wealthy former British Airways pilot has been jailed for more than 12 years after he was found guilty of a string of child sex offences.

Bartle Frere, 51, befriended a young boy and over a three-year period, sexually abused him and then lavished him with gifts.

Frere, who worked for BA for 25 years, rising to the rank of captain before leaving in February 2014, also targeted boys in India, buying them clothes and gifts including iPhones and sports equipment - sometimes spending up to £200 on them.

The bachelor, of Marcham, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, was convicted at Bournemouth Crown Court of 16 counts of arranging or committing sex offences.

These included eight charges of sexually assaulting a British boy between April 2000 and January 2003, four counts of making indecent images of boys in India in 2009, arranging or facilitating the abuse of teenage boys in India between 2009 and 2013 and one charge of attempting to record a person performing a private act in 2012.

Last year, the bachelor had been convicted of two charges of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, which related to his conduct with an under-age boy in India who he met after flying BA routes to Chennai.

Frere was also found guilty of six charges of possessing indecent photographs of a child, which related to pornographic videos found in the loft of his former home in Shipton Gorge, Dorset.

Jurors were unable to reach verdicts on the remaining charges and Frere was ordered to face a retrial.

Today (June 17), he was sentenced for a total of 24 offences and jailed for 12-and-a-half years. He was also placed on the sex offenders' register for life. Frere had denied all the charges.

During his first trial, Frere denied he was a paedophile, describing himself as ``asexual'' - saying he had no interest in sex at all with either men or women.

``I've never really had any preferences one way or the other,'' Frere told jurors.

``I've always had a low sex drive. It's never something I have required or desired in my life. I don't find being sexually attractive to anyone or anything.''

Frere described being in the company of young boys as ``stimulating'', telling the court: ``I enjoy the banter you can have with them.

``You can get laughs quite easily with youngsters and with adults you have to work much harder to get laughs. The energy they produce is stimulating.

``I also find young boys aesthetically pleasing to look at but I don't find them sexually attractive in any way.''

Dorset Police welcomed the jail sentence.

Detective Sergeant Dave Wise said: ``I am pleased that justice has been served and Bartle Frere has been convicted of these terrible crimes.

``Frere targeted vulnerable children to exploit them for his own purpose and we hope that the lengthy sentence brings some closure to them and goes some way to repairing the harm he has caused to his victims and their families.

``He also used his privileged position to gain unbridled access to children and convinced those around them that his intentions were innocent.

``I would like to pay tribute to Frere's victims and their families for the bravery they have shown throughout the whole court process.

``I would also like to thank British Airways for their co-operation.

``This case highlights that Dorset Police takes offences such as these very seriously and I would encourage anyone who has been the victim of sex offences to call Dorset Police or visit the NSPCC website for advice and support.

``You are not alone.''