Scout leader accused of forcing boy to watch porn

PUBLISHED: 11:51 28 January 2012

The abuse happened over the course of 23 years

The abuse happened over the course of 23 years

Archant

A SCOUT leader has gone on trial accused of committing more than 30 sexual offences on three boys and a girl aged under 16 over a 
23-year period.

David Burland, aged 54, former leader of the 1st Burnham scouts, was charged with 18 counts of indecently assaulting boys aged under 16, on separate occasions.

He was also charged with nine counts of sexual activity with a child, two charges of indecency with a child, three charges of sexual assault and one count of exposure.

Ian Fenny, prosecuting, described Burland as ‘a sexual predator, someone who abuses 
youngsters for their own sexual gratification’.

He said: “The defendant was adept and skilled in selecting his victims and, in the main, his victims liked him. They were confused by what he did. They were frightened.”

One alleged victim told the court he had been forced to watch a pornographic film with 
Burland when he was 14.

Despite the child’s protestations, Burland, of Ramsay Way, Burnham, allegedly drove them to his own house and exposed himself before promising they could keep it a secret from the boy’s parents.

The alleged victim - who has since grown up - claims Burland then sexually assaulted him before he was accused of being gay because he did not want to join in.

The man, who cannot be named for legal 
reasons said: “I was highly embarrassed. Sex wasn’t something at that age I had talked about and so found it quite embarrassing.

“I just wanted the whole world to swallow me up.

“It made me feel about two inches tall. I have never felt anything like it before or since.

“I had no idea how to deal with the situation. It wasn’t a situation I could control and I didn’t feel comfortable.”

The alleged victim told the court he was a member of Highbridge scout group, where the defendant’s brother was deputy leader.

He said one night Burland visited the scout hut and asked for a volunteer to help put tents up for drying at Burnham scout hut. When no-one offered he was picked.

While on the way to the scout hut, Burland asked if he wanted to go to his house afterwards to watch a pornographic film. He said no.

But after helping with the tents, he said he was forced to go back to Burland’s house and was only taken back to Highbridge when he threatened to run home.

He said: “In the car he told me not to worry and he would not tell anyone else I was gay. I felt very stupid for 
allowing myself to get into that situation in the first place.”

Rebecca Bradbury, defending, accused the man of making up the story after the court was told he did not report the 
incident to police until Burland’s arrest last year.

The trial continues and is expected to last two weeks.

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