Scout leader abused young girls
9:16am Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in News
A BOLTON scout leader has admitted indecently assaulting three girls as young as five.
David Patterson, now aged 66, pleaded guilty yesterday to kissing one six-year-old on the lips in 1993 or 1994 and carrying out further indecent assaults on two other girls.
Patterson, of Stonebridge Close, Lostock, was due to stand trial at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester yesterday, but admitted the three charges before the trial started.
One assault took place between 1989 and 1993 when the girl was aged between five and 10 and the other was in the 1990s when his victim was aged between six and 10.
The court was told that Patterson pleaded to represented a course of conduct he had carried out over a number of years and not just individual incidents.
Patterson denied seven further charges of indecent assault against the girls and Judge Timothy Mort ordered that the charges should lie on file.
His offences came to light two years ago when one of his victims approached police with allegations against him and two other victims were identified by detectives during their investigations.
At the time of his arrest in September, 2010, Patterson, of Stonebridge Close, Lostock, was a respected scout leader with the 33rd Bolton East scout group in Bromley Cross and had been involved with the organisation since 1964.
He was immediately suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation and the Scout Association co-operated with police.
There is no suggestion that Patterson abused any of the scouts in his charge, but the association confirmed last night that he would never work with the scout movement again.
Patterson, a retired electrical supervisor, admitted to police that he had become aroused when playing games with the girls he abused, but claimed his motives were not sexual.
The court heard that police had seized computer equipment from Patterson’s home but nothing improper had been found on it.
Patterson will be sentenced on November 15 and in the meantime was granted bail on condition he does not contact his victims.
Judge Mort told Patterson he was not planning to send him to jail immediately.
“In the circumstances the worst scenario would be a suspended period of imprisonment or, less likely, a community order,” said Judge Mort.
He was placed on the sex offenders’ register with immediate effect.
One of his victims, now aged 29, was in court to hear her abuser admit his crimes.
Speaking after the hearing, the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said: “I am relieved he has now admitted what he has done.
“This has been hanging over me for more than 20 years and I now feel I can finally put it behind me.”
DC Mike Mather, who led the investigation, said: “We have had meetings with the Scout Association and there are no concerns about his behaviour in his dealings with the scouts.”
He praised the victims for being prepared to give evidence.
“The girls were brave enough to come forward and I would like to thank them for their courage in seeing the case through,” he said.
“It is a satisfactory conclusion. Patterson has accepted responsibility for what he has done. There are measures now in place to protect children from him.”
A Scout Association spokesman said: “Action was taken to ensure Patterson did not have an ongoing involvement with the movement as soon as we were aware of the investigation.
“We can confirm that he will never again be allowed to work within the scout movement.”
He added that the association stringently vets all adults who work with young people.