January 2007

Scout leader jailed for child porn images


A SCOUT leader has been jailed for 10 months and banned from working with children for life after creating a home-made photo album filled with pornographic pictures of young boys.

Paul Sheeran, 57, a Scout leader since 1971, was arrested as part of a national operation targeting suspected sex offenders.

Sheeran from Stretford, was jailed after pleading guilty to 29 counts of making indecent images of children and one count of possessing 1,600 indecent images of children. The images were of varying degrees of severity and many had been collected in a home-made photo album.

The operation saw a total of 13 people arrested and was the first of its kind run by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre. Det Insp Nick Howarth, of GMP’s Abusive Images Unit, said: “Sheeran was in a position of trust in the community while clearly the evidence suggests he had a sexual interest in children.”

As well as the jail sentence, Manchester Crown Court also disqualified Sheeran from working with children for life and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register. There was no evidence that he had photographed Scouts or children under his care.

Anyone wanting to speak to the unit can call Dawn Holt on 0161 230 8589 or Andy Pilling on 0161 856 3374