Scout leader accused of abusing young boys

Scout leader Nicholas Thorpe, 48, on trial for child sex offences
Scout leader Nicholas Thorpe, 48, on trial for child sex offences
Chief Inspector Sharon Woolrich

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A SCOUT leader is standing trial accused of raping and molesting young boys.

Nick Thorpe, master of a Portsmouth Scout group, is alleged to have plied two boys with alcohol before abusing them at his home.

The married 48-year-old denies assaulting the pair, who were under 16 and cannot be named for legal reasons, between 1996 and 2005.

Except for telling his mum, the first alleged victim, who is now in his 30s, kept the abuse quiet for 15 years, a jury at Portsmouth Crown Court heard. He only went to the police after seeing a photo of Thorpe with a group of Scouts in The News in January 2011 and feared other boys could be abused, the trial was told.

‘It brought everything back up to the surface and made me upset again,’ he said.

‘It’s taken a long time. I think now is the time because I’m worried about what happened to me.

‘It makes me worried about what could have happened in this time and if anything is happening now.’

He said after Thorpe abused him he felt shocked but tried to put it to the back of his mind. Matthew Farmer, defending, accused the alleged victim of making up the story to get sympathy from his family.

He described Thorpe, who has been involved with the Scouts for 27 years, as a respected leader who was loved by everybody.

The second set of allegations surfaced in April last year when another former Scout, who is now in his 20s, told a nurse he had been abused.

He said Thorpe would invite him to his home, ply him with drink and abuse him.

‘Because of the alcohol I kept going round to his every time he invited me and every single time he did it,’ he said.

‘I just wanted the alcohol at the time.’

Prosecutor Siobhan Linsley said there was a pattern of abuse that emerged from the pair, who did not know each other but both said Thorpe got them drunk on whisky.

Thorpe, of Thorncroft Road, Fratton, Portsmouth, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape and one of indecent assault relating to one boy and one of indecent assault and gross indecency with a child relating to another. (Proceeding)