November 2015

Jail for ‘predatory’ scout leader who sexually abused girl

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A scout leader indecently assaulted a girl guide as she rehearsed for her role in a show he was putting on.

Andrew Barratt, of Klondyke Way, Asfordby, took the 12-year-old youngster to the rear of the scout hut during a break in rehearsals and kissed and fondled her.

The offences happened more than 35 years ago, when the girl was aged 11 and 12.

This week Barratt was jailed for six years.

He appeared at St Albans Crown Court to admit four charges of indecently assaulting the girl during rehearsals for two shows which took place in the early 1980s at St Albans City Hall.

Barratt, 63, also admitted three other offences of indecent assault involving two other young girls who were not guides as well as taking an indecent image of another young girl.

All the offences took place during a 13-year period between 1979 and 1992.

Nigel Ogborne, prosecuting, said the offences on the girl guide came to light in 2012, when the victim, by now an adult, finally reported the matter to Hertfordshire Police.

She told officers how during rehearsals for the shows put on over two successive years Barratt indecently assaulted her at the district scouting headquarters.

An investigation into Barratt was started and three more victims who had never been in the girl guide movement were identified from others parts of the country.

Elise Jeremiah, mitigating, said Barratt was in poor health and now felt remorse for his crimes.

Judge Stephen Warner jailed Barratt for six years and told him: “These are serious offences and involved predatory and manipulative behaviour towards these young girls.”

He was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the next 10 years and his name will also go on the sex offenders’ register for an indefinite period.