A FORMER Sea Cadets volunteer has been jailed for 22 years for sexually abusing children.

Branded as "dangerous" by a judge, Phillip Grove, aged 70, was jailed at Taunton Crown Court on Friday (February 23) after he was found guilty of 15 charges linked to non-recent sexual offences, including rape.

During a trial at the same court, which is currently residing at North Somerset Courthouse, a jury found Grove, who lived in Taunton at the time of the offences, guilty of two counts of rape, 10 counts of indecency with a child and three counts of indecent assault.

The court heard how Grove raped a victim in the 1990s. Over the span of six years, Grove, who held the volunteer position of chief petty officer at the time, also sexually assaulted another victim and was indecent in front of two other victims.

An investigation was launched into Grove after one of the victims reported what had happened to her in September 2020.

In March 2021, Grove was arrested. On Friday, December 8 last year, Grove was unanimously found guilty for 15 of the 16 charges put to him.

Grove was jailed for 22 years, one of which he will spend on extended licence.

 The judge also granted a life-long Sexual Harm Prevention Order and instructed Grove to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Grove has also been barred from working with children.

In a statement read out in court, one of the victims said: “For almost 30 years, I have lived in constant shame. Shame which I have owned but it was never actually mine to own.

“The whole of my adult life has been overcast in shadow, which I have never been able to shake off… A part of me, who I am, was taken away from me by Phillip Grove."

One victim described Grove as a "sick, sick man" in a letter written to the judge.

Presiding Judge Cullum said that Grove was a "dangerous individual." He added: “You are a self-centred, dishonest and callous individual who has shown no remorse.”

Investigating officer DC Becky Norton said: “All four victims have been incredibly brave throughout the process and have exhibited exceptional courage.

"Without them, we would not have been able to put an incredibly dangerous man in prison and seek the justice they so rightly deserve.

“The Sea Cadets have been very supportive of our investigation and, upon being contacted in October 2020, their safeguarding team conducted an internal investigation to gather necessary information to support our enquiries."