Hucknall man bailed over child sex offence charges

Nottingham Crown COurt.
Nottingham Crown COurt.

The former leader of an air cadets’ group in Hucknall is to stand trial in September on charges of sex offences against a teenage girl.

James Dodd (41) was the commanding officer of the much-respected 1803 (Hucknall) Air Training Corps squadron, which is based off Watnall Road.

Dodd, who lives at Masefield Avenue, Holmewood, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court facing charges dating back nine years.

Wearing a dark suit, shirt and tie, he spoke only to confirm his identity.

He has yet to formally enter a plea. But Ian Way (defending) told the court that Dodd would be denying the charges.

“He had a genuine and reasonable belief that the girl in question was over 16,” said Mr Way.

A trial date was set for the week beginning Monday 29th September. The next hearing, for plea and case-management, will be on Thursday 24th July.

When he appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court in March, Dodd was accused of five offences in Hucknall between 24th September 2005 and 25th September 2006.

Four of the charges related to Dodd committing sexual acts or sexual touching, while the other related to inciting the girl to engage in sexual activity.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is now aged 23.

Dodd was also charged with possessing two indecent photographs of children between 24th September 2005 and 1st May 2013.

Dodd was granted bail on condition that he does not have unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16, does not contact the girl referred to in the charges and does not visit the 1803 Squadron’s headquarters.

Dodd joined the squadron as a boy and reached the rank of flight lieutenant. He became its commanding officer in 2009, taking over from Wing Staff Officer Sue Evans.

In April 2007, he was one of ten representatives of the squadron who met Princess Anne when she visited Nottingham.