An army cadet sergeant who inappropriately kissed and touched a teenage girl at a training camp in Shropshire two years ago has been given a suspended prison sentence.

William Christopher Farrell was found guilty of two charges of sexual assault following a four-day trial last month.

The 61-year-old, of Church Green, Cockshutt, near Ellesmere, was given a three-month sentence suspended for a year.

Passing sentence at Shrewsbury Crown Court last week Judge Peter Barrie said Farrell's actions were a 'serious breach of trust'.

He said the defendant had brought the army into disrepute and potentially put teenagers off joining the cadets in the future.

"It has been suggested that I should not treat this as particularly serious because it involved a social kiss when the cadets arrived and rubbing her bottom on the pretence that you were trying to brush leaves off her," he said.

"But, your behaviour caused her real and serious distress. I think it's wrong to dismiss this kind of behaviour," he added.

Farrell must also complete a rehabilitation programme and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order.

In addition he must pay £200 compensation to the victim and carry out 100 hours unpaid work.

Farrell had denied four charges of sexual assault said to have happened at the at Nesscliffe Training Camp near Oswestry in May, 2016.

He was said to have kissed the girl cadet on the cheek shortly after arriving at the camp for a weekend residential training course.

The following day he touched her lower back and bottom during a training exercise.

The jury cleared him of another allegation of kissing the cadet on the direction of the judge during the trial and found him not guilty of an alleged incident of touching the cadet when she was in a car.

His behaviour came to light when another cadet reported her concerns to officials.

During the trial Farrell was said to greet cadets by hugging the boys and kissing the girls but had he had denied that it was ever sexual.

Defence witnesses said Farrell was seen as 'a father figure' by cadets and the hugging and putting an arm round cadets was part of his 'bubbly personality'.

Mr Brendan Reedy, for Farrell, said his client appeared to appreciate what he had done and understood that his behaviour was unacceptable.