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Former Council Leader and Royal Navy Officer jailed for historic sex offences

|News, Sexual offences

A former council leader and Royal Navy officer has been jailed for 11 years for historic adult sex offences which took place over an 18-year period.

Richard Pallister, 73, who was the leader of South Somerset District Council between 2011 and 2018 and an air traffic controller at the Royal Naval Air Station base at Yeovilton, Somerset was found guilty of historical sexual abuse of three women dating back to between 1986 and 2004.

The assaults took place in a variety of locations including at his private home, in his jacuzzi and in cars.

Ian Dawes of CPS said: “This case proves we do not hesitate to prosecute perpetrators of sexual abuse where there is sufficient evidence irrespective of how long ago the crimes were committed.

“Pallister demonstrated a repeated pattern of manipulative behaviour over a substantial period.  He groomed, controlled, and coerced three vulnerable victims, all part of the same family.

“On the face of it he was a trusted pillar of the community but in reality he was a sexual predator. It takes tremendous courage to come forward to report what happened to you especially where the offender has held a position of power within the local area.

“The victims have shown a great deal of strength and bravery to step forward to report the incident and support the prosecution and I would like to thank them for their resilience.” 

Notes to editors

  • Richard Pallister (DOB:07/12/1946), was found guilty of 18 counts of Indecent Assault
  • Ian Dawes is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit of CPS South West. 

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