September 2017

Perverted scoutmaster groomed young children online

Shaun Hudd was a chef at soft play business Jump in Cribbs Causeway and a scoutmaster with 36th Bristol Scout Group.

But in the sanctuary of his bedroom, from behind the safety of his computer screen, he was a paedophile predator, sexually exploiting children as young as nine.

The 22-year-old, who had also worked at award-winning Bristol restaurant Casamia, posed as a youngster himself before contacting children through Facebook and Skype.

Bristol Crown Court heard that he became hooked on exploiting boys and girls, persuading them to expose themselves to him and recording indecent photos and videos.

When youngsters tried to rid themselves of him he threatened to distribute the humiliating footage – and carried out the threat on two occasions.

Hudd, of Hewlands Court in De Clifford Road, Lawrence Weston, has been jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to a total of 23 offences:

  • 12 charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity;

  • Five charges of making indecent photos of children

  • Six charges of distributing indecent photos of children.

Sarah Regan, prosecuting, told Bristol Crown Court: “Throughout the period from October 31, 2013, and September 2015, he contacted in excess of 60 children.

“He used ten different Skype accounts pretending to be a teenage girl or boy, to incite and often to threaten the children he contacted to send him sexual images of themselves.

Though they went on webcam themselves he claimed his camera was broken, the court heard, and used messaging to tell the childrenm what he wanted them to do.

“He threatened three of them that he would make those images public,” said Miss Regan.

“And in respect of two he did just that, sending the image of one boy to four individuals and the image of one girl to another.”

The impact on all victims was immense, the court heard.

Miss Regan said: “They were all at an important stage of their emotional and physical development, many pre-pubertal and other just coming into their early puberty.

“Some declined to provide statements or to be interviewed as a consequence of the embarrassment caused by the offences having come to light.”

Police who examined Hudd’s laptop found 670 still and 24 moving images which were indicative or borderline images of children.

Miss Regan said: “In addition, 357 still images and 53 moving case specific images of children were found on that laptop.

“It was clear from those images that the defendant favoured young boys aged between nine and 12 years, although there were also images of young girls aged between 11 and 13.”

The judge was told he had worked at Jump soft play centre at Cribbs Causeway and Michelin starred restaurant Casamia in Westbury-on-Trym before becoming unemployed and no longer involved with scouting.

Judge Julian Lambert said he concluded Hudd was a dangerous offender and jailed him for eight years, with extended licence of five years.

Hudd was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, banning him from unchecked contact with children or unchecked internet use.

He was handed a restraining order to keep away from two specific youngsters and two specific addresses and told to register as a sex offender indefinitely.