Febuary 2006

Ex-wife sickened by child porn husband

THE ex-wife of a former Scoutmaster put on the sex offenders’ register has broken her silence to tell parents about his past.

Sharon Chapman says parents whose children were in the care of Roy Alan Chapman deserve to be “made aware” of the caution he was given for possessing child porn.

She claims the 16th Royal Eltham Scout group, where Mr Chapman used to work, failed to tell parents why their children’s Scout leader had left.

Mr Chapman was cautioned by police for possession of indecent images in November 2004 and placed on the sex offenders’ register.

The 55-year-old, who worked in the Scout movement for 13 years, has since moved to Spain.

But more than a year on Mrs Chapman, of Invicta Close, Chislehurst, fears hundreds of parents still do not know about his conviction.

She said: “I just want to make people aware of what this man has done.

“He had the trust of parents. They allowed him to take their children away on camping trips for weeks at a time.

“I think parents should be told about the sort of man who was working with their children.”

Mother-of-two Mrs Chapman claims Scout chiefs did not do enough to inform parents about the real reason why her former husband left.

The financial adviser added: “The system in the Scouts is very loose. There needs to be better regulation.”

Now divorced, Mrs Chapman, 47, says she feels nothing but revulsion for the man she once loved. The couple were married for 22 years.

In a June 2004 letter, the Met Police’s child protection team told Mrs Chapman it would not be able to inform her of the outcome of the case under the Data Protection Act.

News Shopper was unable to contact Mr Chapman at the time of going to press.

A spokesman for the Scouts says there is already a rigorous vetting system in place for people who want to work for them.

Applicants have to appear before a committee to explain why they want to work with children and cannot work unsupervised with children for the first six months.

In June 2003 another Eltham Scout leader, Michael Watling, was jailed for six years for 16 counts of indecent assault on eight boys aged 14 and 15.