November 2015

Cub Scout leader jailed after trying to meet young girl for sex


A Cub Scout leader who tried to meet a 12-year-old girl for sex at a hotel in Bridgend has been jailed for a string of sexual offences.

Scott Nicholls, an ambulance worker who volunteered as a Games Maker at the London Olympics, pleaded guilty to 19 counts, including attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

The 41-year-old from Somerset also admitted possessing and distributing indecent images of children and causing children to watch sexual acts.

Other charges related to attempting to insight girls under 16 and under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

The court heard he was caught as part of a police operation, during which an officer posed as a 12-year-old girl known as “Welsh Beth”.

Prosecuting, Andrew Davies told Cardiff Crown Court he sent her “graphic descriptions” of the things he wanted to do to her, as well as sending her obscene photographs.

Nicholls then suggested meeting at a hotel in Bridgend, before booking a room for two nights in June and arriving with a bag full of sex toys.

The court heard he was met by police officers at the Premier Inn and said: “I knew this was a set-up. My life is ruined. My job is gone and my hobby is gone.”

When questioned by officers, the defendant said he was planning to take the girl to the cinema and on a shopping trip and would not have engaged in sexual activity with her.

Mr Davies said Nicholls worked with boys and girls aged between eight and 10 in his role as Cub Scout leader.

Kevin Seal, defending, stressed that none of the allegations related to his work or volunteering.

Police searched his home in Addison Grove, Taunton, and found more than 1,500 indecent images on his computer, including 462 of Category A – the most serious.

They also found more than 800 indecent videos, with 634 at Category A. Officers found he had distributed the material to 22 people and four of those were under 18.

The court heard he communicated with several individuals in chat rooms, believing them all to be young girls. Officers later discovered some of the individuals were actually other men.

He repeatedly sent obscene photographs and asked the girls whether they had friends or younger sisters he could contact.

He told one girl – who he believed to be 14 but officers later discovered to be a man – that he would buy her a teddy bear if he could rape her sister.

The defendant asked another girl, who he believed to be 12, for a threesome with her younger sister and admitted he wanted to film it as a “trophy”.

Mr Davies said: “The prosecution case is that the tenor of these conversations demonstrates he is not only a paedophile, but a persistent one.”

In mitigation, Mr Seal said: “He is the first person to admit that he is ill and requires treatment.

“His guilty pleas are the best indicator of remorse, in my respectful submission. He does express shame and regret for his actions.”

Sentencing, Judge Eleri Rees said: “You pose a significant risk of serious harm to other people, particularly young children.”

He was handed a six-year custodial sentence, extended by four years, and will serve two thirds in prison. A Sexual Offences Prevention Order will then be put in place.