Portsmouth Scout leader handed more jail time

SNARED Scout Leader Nick Thorpe has his jail sentence increased
SNARED Scout Leader Nick Thorpe has his jail sentence increased

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POLICE have hailed the ‘extreme courage’ of victims whose evidence has led to a paedophile Scout leader being convicted of more crimes.

Nick Thorpe, 48, was initially snared after a man he abused as a child spotted his photograph in The News and contacted police.

He was later jailed for 13 years after being found guilty of a string of historic sex offences relating to two victims.

Now he faces more time behind bars after being found guilty of sexually abusing two more people.

The two victims are now adults and came forward after former Portsmouth Scout Group leader Thorpe was jailed by Judge Roger Hetherington in March.

Married Thorpe was sentenced to three years in jail for the extra offences.

A 12-strong jury at Portsmouth Crown Count found him guilty of two counts of gross indecency with a child and one of indecent assault in a majority verdict following a five-day trial.

Two years are to be served concurrently to his existing sentence, and one consecutively. This brings Thorpe’s total jail sentence to 14 years.

PC Owen Woods from the Eastern Area Investigation Team at Cosham police station is the investigating officer for the case.

He said: ‘I would like to acknowledge the extreme courage displayed by both of the victims in this case, firstly in coming forward and speaking out about the very traumatic offences committed against them, and secondly for their bravery in going to court and giving evidence.’

He added: ‘Without their commitment and support this conviction would not have been possible.

‘Nicholas Thorpe has now been convicted by a jury for the second time this year in relation to sexual offences that he has committed in the past against child Scouts in his care. This is an abhorrent abuse of power and position by a man who was trusted by parents to look after their children.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the public that Hampshire Constabulary remains committed to supporting victims of sexual offences regardless of when they were committed.’

Thorpe was found guilty in February of plying two youngsters with alcohol and sexually assaulting them between 1996 and 2005 when they were both aged under 16.

Thorpe, who was involved in the Scouts for 27 years, had denied three counts of rape and one of sexual assault relating to one boy.

He had also pleaded not guilty to one count of indecent assault and one of gross indecency with a child, relating to another boy. Thorpe has already had to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register.