Beds, Herts & Bucks

Ex-scout leader Robert Major abused three boys

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Media captionRobert Major secretly groomed young boys for sex

A former scout leader has been jailed for 14 years for sexually assaulting a father, his son and his cousin when they were children.

Robert Major, 63, of Steppingstone Place, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, was found guilty of abuse between 1977 and 1982, and 1997 and 2001.

He abused the son at a flat in Aylesbury in the 1990s, the town's crown court heard.

Major assaulted his father two decades earlier, while a swimming instructor.

He was found guilty of 12 charges of indecent assault, four indecency charges and one of a serious sexual assault.

'Father figure'

The court was told Major was employed at Tiddenfoot Leisure Centre in Leighton Buzzard, at the time of the first period of abuse.

He repeatedly said "I did not have sex with him", during cross-examination by prosecutors over assaulting the three boys.

Prosecutor Mary Lorum said to the defendant: "You are a manipulative man who has become skilled at spotting which young boys will go along with your sexual desires."

Major denied this, telling the jury he was a friendly person who was like a father figure to young people.

He admitted he did have sex with one of the boys when he was 21, but said it was consensual.

'Complex investigation'

He was cleared of one charge of rape against the father.

Case investigator Jo Simmons, of Thames Valley Police, said: "This has been a long and complex investigation which has resulted in three victims coming forward to report the abuse Robert Major subjected them to.

"He was in a position of trust and abused this position to target young boys by plying them with cigarettes and alcohol.

"I would like to pay tribute to the bravery shown by all the victims as they have been through a horrendous ordeal. I hope this result will help them find a way to move forward with their lives."

In addition to the prison sentence, Major will have to sign onto the Sex Offenders' Register for life.

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