Manchester

Bolton scoutmaster David Patterson spared custody for sex attacks

A scoutmaster from Bolton who abused young girls over the course of 14 years has been spared custody.

David Patterson, 66, of Stonebridge Close, Lostock, Bolton, pleaded guilty to three historical counts of indecent assault on three girls under 14.

At Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court, he was sentenced to 15 months in jail, suspended for 18 months.

Patterson, who abused the girls between 1983 to 1997, was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register.

Greater Manchester Police said the abuse came to light in August 2010 when one of his victims, then in her late 20s, contacted them to report he had abused her when she was a child.

'Extraordinary bravery'

During interviews with specially-trained officers, police said it emerged Patterson had abused three girls over the course of more than a decade.

Greater Manchester Police said he abused them either at his house or in a caravan at a holiday destination.

The force said none of his victims were involved in the scouts.

Det Con Mike Mather praised the "extraordinary bravery" of the victims who came forward after all these years.

"I hope today's outcome will encourage other victims of abuse generally to come forward," he said.

"I hope this demonstrates the police's commitment to prosecuting sex offenders, no matter how long ago they committed their crimes."

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