January 2021

Group leader who groped two children is jailed

An Akela at a scout group was rumbled for sexual assault – after a child in the group put their hand down their mum’s trousers.

When the mum asked her child not to do it they asked: “Why, that’s what Akela does to me?”

It transpired Stephen Boulton, a respected member of the Scouting Association for decades, had been advised about inappropriate touching.

But, after that, on two occasions he put his hand down the trousers of two children and touched their bare backsides.

Boulton, 72, of Brislington, pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault of a child aged under-13.

Judge Euan Ambrose jailed him for 28 months.

He told Boulton: “You had previously been warned about your behaviour regarding a different child. Your actions had a significant impact on each child. Only immediate imprisonment constitutes appropriate punishment.”

Boulton was handed a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order designed to stop his re-offending.

He was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years and was barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.

Anjali Gohil, prosecuting via video link, told Bristol Crown Court the first complainant disclosed what Boulton had done and their parents contacted police.

Boulton was arrested, interviewed and initially denied wrongdoing.

Police then discovered Boulton received “words of advice” from the Scouts’ safeguarding team after a previous incident, but did not face charges.

And it emerged another youngster disclosed Boulton put his hand down their trousers, touched their bottom and said: “You like that, don’t you?”

When Boulton was interviewed again he made a prepared statement in which he denied any sexual intent.

The father of the first complainant made a statement in which he said the abuse had impacted on the child and their family, and Boulton had breached their trust.

But he ended his statement by saying: “We are incredibly proud of our wonderful, brave [child].”

The mother of the second complainant stated: “I feel disturbed, upset and sickened.

“It feels horrible someone has abused [my child].

“I actually want to attack the man; I wouldn’t do this.”

The mum said she regretted that did not have the strength to go to police before they came to her.

The complainant wrote a note in which they said: “I hope to get justice so I can forget about it.

“I don’t want more children to go through what I have.”

Emma Martin, defending, said her client acknowledged the hurt of his wrongful actions and was remorseful.

She said: “If he could turn the clock back and undo the hurt he would do in an instant.”

She added that Boulton was involved in the Scouting Association for very many decades and very many people spoke highly of him.