Dorset

Bournemouth scout leader abused boys for 41 years

Paul Cherrett Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption The Scout Association said Paul Cherrett was in possession of a full and valid criminal records check at the time of his arrest in 2016

A former Dorset scout leader has pleaded guilty to abusing boys over a 41-year period.

Paul Cherrett, 62, of King Richard Drive, Bournemouth, admitted 17 offences including indecent assaults and possessing indecent photos.

The offences, against nine boys between 1975 and 2016, took place at Scout camps and other locations.

In August 2016 he pleaded guilty to a sexual act with a boy and admitted the remaining 17 charges on Thursday.

Cherrett is due to be sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on 11 April.

Case review

Speaking after the case, the Scout Association said it had reported Cherrett to the police in February 2016 when his line manager expressed concerns about his behaviour.

Its spokesman Simon Carter said: "At the time of his arrest Cherrett had a full and valid Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

"Neither we nor the police hold any records relating to his service with the association that showed that previous allegations had been made detailing any inappropriate behaviour. "

Mr Carter said the Scout Association was reviewing the case "in light of the information revealed in the victim statements" to see if any volunteers had known about the abuse.

Dorset Police said Cherrett joined the Scouting movement in 1972 when he became an assistant Cub Scout leader for the 21st Bournemouth Scout Group until 1977.

He then moved into the role of assistant district commissioner for the Bournemouth West District until 1988.

In 2010 he returned in the role of district Scout active support member at Butchers Coppice Camp site in Bournemouth, the force said.

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