A SERGEANT in the RAF's Air Training Corps who groomed three young girls before inciting some of them to send naked pictures of themselves has been jailed.

One of the child victims faced her abuser at court yesterday and tearfully recounted how he had 'stolen my childhood, stolen my innocence.'

Joseph Palmer had already admitted three counts of causing a child to witness a sexual act and two counts relating to the sexual exploitation of a child.

The 23-year-old of Gordon Close, Oxford appeared for sentencing at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.

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Outlining the case prosecutor David Povall said the offences took place while Palmer was a staff officer at an Air Training Corps in Oxfordshire.

Palmer targeted three young girls, communicating with them via Snapchat over a period of months.

It was during this time he sent his victims - none of whom can be named for legal reason - videos of himself performing a sex act.

He also incited them to send him nude images in return, which two of his victims did.

One of the child victims said that she had sent up to 30 photographs of herself and said that she was scared of speaking out in case they got into trouble.

She said that Palmer had sent her pictures of his genitals and she knew it was him because she could see his Air Training Corps uniform in the background.

He also sent her a video of himself masturbating.

Another girl who sent Palmer images said she felt 'used and scared' when she learned that he had been similarly messaging other girls.

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One victim said she was concerned that Palmer would 'get angry' if she didn't send him indecent photographs.

Prosecutors called the grooming a 'pattern of manipulation of these young girls.'

In am emotional victim personal statement one of the girls read out to the court how her ordeal had affected her.

She said that she had been left to feel uncomfortable in her own body and this had led to feelings of self-loathing.

She added: "I feel like this has stolen my childhood, stolen my innocence."

In mitigation, Matthew Rowcliffe, defending, said that his client was 'genuinely sorry for what he has done and for the impact of the actions he has caused.'

He added that Palmer was 'terrified' at the prospect of going to prison and that the current regime with the pandemic would make it 'particularly difficult' for him.

The court also heard that Palmer has no other previous convictions to his name.

Sentencing, Judge Nigel Daly jailed him for a total of 28 months.

Palmer was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register and obey a sexual harm prevention order for a total of 10 years.

He must also pay a statutory victim surcharge.