Scout leader jailed for sexually assaulting child

Duncan Grant, 66, unemployed, now of no fixed address but formerly of White Rock Road, Hastings, was sentenced to a total of eight years and four months imprisonment when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court
Duncan Grant, 66, unemployed, now of no fixed address but formerly of White Rock Road, Hastings, was sentenced to a total of eight years and four months imprisonment when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court

A former Bexhill scout leader has been jailed for more than eight years after admitting sexual offences against a teenage girl who was a member of his scout group.

Police say 66-year-old Duncan Grant, unemployed, now of no fixed address but formerly of White Rock Road, Hastings, was sentenced to a total of eight years and four months imprisonment when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday, February 27.

He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts, one of gross indecency and one of indecent assault against a girl. Both offences took place in the Bexhill between 1997 and 2002, when the girl was under 16-years-old

Police say Grant will serve five years and four months in prison, and a further three years under Probation supervision on prison release licence, and will be a registered sexual offender for life.

He pleaded not guilty to four other courts, two of gross indecency and two of indecent assault. These were not proceeded with and were ordered to remain on the court file.

Police say Grant was a scout leader at the 2nd Bexhill girls scouts group but he left the Scout movement 16 years ago for unrelated reasons before the sexual offence reports were made.

Police say there is no current risk to any current or recent members of the scouts and that officers had the full co-operation from the Scout Movement throughout the investigation.

PC Kelley Matthews of the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said: "This was a very complex and sensitive investigation which started two years ago when we received information that Grant had been systematically abusing this young girl over three years, taking advantage of his status and power within the group.

"As a result of our enquiries were are able to obtain CPS authority to charge Grant and the victim, now an adult, was ready to give evidence in court had Grant not pleaded guilty.

"This case is a reminder that we will always take seriously and investigate all such allegations, however long ago they are said to have happened."

A Scout Association spokesman said: "Grant was suspended from all involvement with the Scout Movement as soon as we were made aware of the Police investigation.

"It is appropriate that Grant is being punished for his crimes - he has betrayed the trust placed in him by young people and their parents. He has been permanently excluded from The Scout Association.

"The Scout Association carries out stringent vetting of all adults who work with young people and requires them to work to a strict code of practice outlined in the Young People First Code of Practice”.