An East Sussex man has started a lengthy prison sentence after admitting sexual offences against a teenage girl who was a member of his scout group while he was a Bexhill scout leader.
Duncan Grant, 66 and unemployed, now of no fixed address, was sentenced to a total of eight years and four months' imprisonment when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday February 27.
Grant, of no fixed address, had previously pleaded guilty to two counts, one of gross indecency and one of indecent assault against the girl at various locations in the Bexhill area, both covering the periods between 1997 and 2002 when she was aged between 12 and 16.
He will serve five years and four months in prison, and a further three years under probation supervision on prison release licence, and will be a registered sexual offender for life.
He pleaded not guilty to four other courts, two of gross indecency and two of indecent assault. These were not proceeded with and were ordered to remain on the court file.
Grant was a scout leader at the 2nd Bexhill girls scouts group but he left the scout movement 16 years ago for unrelated reasons before the sexual offence reports were made, and there is no current risk to any current or recent members of the movement.
Police had full co-operation from the scout movement throughout the investigation.
PC Kelley Matthews, of the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit, said: "This was a very complex and sensitive investigation which started two years ago when we received information that Grant had been systematically abusing this young girl over three years, taking advantage of his status and power within the group.
"As a result of our enquiries were are able to obtain CPS authority to charge Grant and the victim, now an adult, was ready to give evidence in court had Grant not pleaded guilty.
"This case is a reminder that we will always take seriously and investigate all such allegations, however long ago they are said to have happened."
A Scout Association spokesman said: "Grant was suspended from all involvement with the Scout Movement as soon as we were made aware of the Police investigation.
"It is appropriate that Grant is being punished for his crimes - he has betrayed the trust placed in him by young people and their parents. He has been permanently excluded from The Scout Association.
"The Scout Association carries out stringent vetting of all adults who work with young people and requires them to work to a strict code of practice outlined in the “Young People First” Code of Practice”.