August 2017

Former scout leader escapes jail after admitting sexually assaulting two boys on trip to Norfolk Broads

A former scout leader who sexually assaulted two boys during a boat trip on the Norfolk Broads more than 40 years ago has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send him straight to prison.

The two victims, who were aged nine and ten, were both cubs at the time of the trip, which took place in 1975 during the Easter holidays, and Gerald Kirby was a scout leader who had gone along to help the organisers, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

One morning during the trip Kirby went into the boys’ cabin and asked if they had washed, said Joanne Eley, prosecuting.

He then told one of the boys to take down his pyjama trousers and had then started touching his genitals.

During the incident, which lasted about ten minutes, the boy heard Kirby whispering something he couldn’t hear.

Miss Eley said the second victim said Kirby had checked to see if he had cleaned himself properly and described him being “quite excited and shaking and sweating” when he indecently assaulted him.

Miss Eley said that when the boys returned home after the trip their parents were told by Kirby and the leaders of the trip that they had been naughty but neither of the boys remembered being badly behaved.

Many years later one of the victims made a complaint to the police and the other victim was subsequently tracked down and he also made a complaint about Kirby.

When Kirby was interviewed about the allegations he denied acting inappropriately towards the boys.

Kirkby, 70, of London, pleaded guilty to two offences of indecent assault between March 29 and April 5 1975 on what should have been the first day of his trial and was given a two year jail sentence suspended for two years.

He was also given a six month curfew and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.