An Army cadet from Richmond who was sexually assaulted by an officer on a camping trip has spoken out to encourage other victims to come forward.

The victim was abused while still a teenager and then subjected to several more assaults by the same Army officer.

For ten years he tried to cope with what had happened to him but eventually suffered a breakdown and told his parents.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute but then a second victim came forward in 2016 and the officer was convicted of sex offences against both victims.

The victim from Richmond, who has lifetime anonymity, said: "I found it incredibly difficult to come to terms with what I had been through and only managed to have the courage to speak to my parents about it.

“It was then devastating however to get the news that the CPS would not be taking the case forward and I struggled to talk about the abuse for a long time afterwards.”

But now he has a form of justice and has also received a payout from the Ministry of Defence.

Anna Pask, the victim’s solicitor from Irwin Mitchell, said: “This is sadly yet another case in which someone has abused their position of power in the worst way imaginable.

“It can be incredibly difficult for abuse survivors to speak out about their ordeals’, but our client has shown amazing courage to come forward and share his story.

“He remains very concerned that others may have been affected by similar issues and we would urge anyone who may have been to not suffer in silence.”

The abuser was jailed for 15 years in January 2017 having been convicted of a number of sex offences at Kingston Crown Court in January 2017.

Ms Pask added: “There has been a huge sea change in how such issues are now handled and people can rest assured that authorities will always handle their cases in the most sensitive manner."

The victim added: "Getting the news that someone else had come forward changed everything and it was massive to know that I was not alone in terms of what had happened.

The legal firm also secured the victim with an admission of liability as well as an interim payment from the Ministry of Defence - which the victim used to access specialist therapy.

The victim said: "I like to think that my story highlights that people who have faced abuse have nothing to fear from speaking out."

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault and would like help and support visit: