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Army sergeant Edwin Mee guilty of 13 sex attacks

Edwin Mee Image copyright PA
Image caption Edwin Mee abused his power to "bully and groom" young cadets before attacking them

An Army sergeant has been found guilty of 13 sex attacks on seven female recruits.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court convicted 46-year-old Edwin Mee from Glasgow of 10 sexual assaults, two rapes and one count of assault.

He was cleared of three charges. Jurors are still considering four counts of sexual assault and one of rape.

Mee worked at Mitcham Barracks Army Careers and Information Office in Croydon as a recruitment sergeant,

The court heard he abused his power to "bully and groom" young female cadets aged from 16 to their early 20s.

The attacks took place in 2010 and 2011.

Father figure

Jurors were told the divorced father-of-five spanked women and this escalated to the rape of a vulnerable recruit.

Mee used to stay late at the careers centre and interview the women after hours to "deliberately" target them, the court heard.

One victim said she saw Mee as a father figure before he raped her.

Prosecutor Rosina Cottage said: "This is a pattern of bullying sexual behaviour that was repeated again and again to the female cadets to make them feel that he had power over them and control over their future."

She said the sergeant disregarded normal Army procedures to keep the women to himself and "gauge their vulnerability".

He talked to them about sex, touched them and in the most serious instance commit rape, Ms Cottage said.

Mee also deliberately targeted young black women, she said, perhaps thinking they were more vulnerable in relation to their immigration status or to pretend he had some power over them.

After asking a 16-year-old if she had body piercings and saying he wanted to see the piercing in her tummy, he slapped her, the court heard.

When she complained, he said: "It's you who needs the Army".

Mee denied all 21 charges against him.

The jurors will return to continue their deliberations on Wednesday.

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