Former Scout leader jailed for child sex offences - Reading

16/05/2016

A former Scout leader appeared at Reading Crown Court on Friday, 13 May 2016, and was jailed for four years for indecently assaulting a Boy Scout in Earley, Reading between August 1991 and August 1994.

Peter Swynford, aged 52, from Kenton Road, Earley, Reading was sentenced after being found guilty on 08 March 2016, at Reading Crown Court, by a jury, after a seven-day trial, of four counts of indecent assault on a boy under 16.

In addition to the custodial sentence, Swynford was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register and made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved sexual activity between a man, now aged 52, and a boy in Earley, Reading in the early nineties.

"Peter Swynford took advantage of his status as a Scout leader to prey on the young Boy Scout, ply him with pornography, alcohol and drugs and then abuse him for his own sexual gratification.  It is only due to the great courage of the victim, and his feeling of duty to protect others, that the despicable behaviour of this man has been exposed.  I would like to pay tribute to him for his strength, tenacity and selflessness in coming forward.

"Swynford denied any unlawful conduct, admitting sexual contact with the victim, but denying it was without consent and that the victim was under 16. However, on 08 March 2016, at Reading Crown Court, he was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault on a male.

"The convictions and sentence serve as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these, or those that know such crimes are being committed, that they should come forward and that time is no barrier to justice.  The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with Thames Valley Police in this case, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.

"The emotional impact, on the victim and his family, of the abhorrent actions of this man is impossible to quantify.  I hope that the convictions and sentence gives some small comfort to them.  Our thoughts are very much with them at this time."

Investigating officer Detective Constable Helen Stone, from Reading Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: "This was a difficult and complex case dating back more than two decades.

"I commend the victim for his bravery in coming forward and continuing with this case until its conclusion. I am pleased for him and his family that Swynford faced justice after such a long wait. I hope this sentence will give Swynford time to reflect on the reality of what he did and how that affected the victim."