October 2020

Former scout leader jailed for sex offences

A former West Sussex scout leader has been sent to prison for offences of voyeurism and a sexual assault, involving young children at scouting camps he helped to run.

Oliver Cooper, 27, a student, of Nor’bren Avenue, Bognor, formerly of Kings Drive, Hopton, Staffs, and a former scout leader in Horsham, was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday 15 October of;

– Two counts of sexual assault on a girl aged six,

– One count of sexual assault on a girl also aged six,

– One count of taking indecent photographs of a child,

– 13 counts of voyeurism.

He was sentenced to a total of six years imprisonment.

He will be on the Sex Offenders Register for life, was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to last until further court notice severely restricting his access to children, and was disqualified from working with children and vulnerable people for life.

Cooper was a Beaver Scouts leader at the time of the offences, which took place more than two years ago.

The conviction follows a lengthy investigation by detectives from the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigation Unit after a child disclosed that he had sexually touched her.

As a result of that disclosure Cooper was arrested and indecent images and videos of children getting undressed in private were found on his phone and laptop.

During the course of the investigation a further child came forward and reported a similar offence against her.