A Scout leader has been banned from the organisation for life after he was caught with a stash of indecent images of young boys.

Nigel Shaw’s home was raided by police following a tip-off that he was downloading indecent images and a search of his digital devices recovered more than 1,600 pictures and videos.

The Scout leader, who was also a ParkRun photographer, was immediately removed from his position when the sick images were discovered, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Judge Howard Crowson told the defendant that his behaviour will have caused concern for the parents of young children who he would have had access to over the years.

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Sentencing Shaw to a two-year community order to address his offending, the judge said: “You are clearly ashamed, you have lost part of your life that was precious to you.

“At the same time, your behaviour will have caused people anxiety knowing that you have been involved in youth groups and at the same time having sexual interest in youths; it will have caused doubt for people.

“There is no evidence that you acted directly on a child but you are a person with a sexual interest in images of young boys.”

The 61-year-old, of Hayston Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to two charges, which date from June 2014 to October last year. The first charge included having 1,541 category C images, which included 12 videos and the second charge was for having 138 category B images, including eight videos.

Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, said Shaw had the images on three devices at his home and requested that they all be destroyed.

“The majority were male juveniles in their early teens,” she said. “Some were in a house setting and some were in a studio setting. Aggravating features are that a collection including movie pictures and there was a large number of victims.”

Alex Bousfield, in mitigation, said his client had never acted out his sexual interest in young boys and had not joined the Scouts to access children.

He said: “He done a lot of good in his life but has sadly let himself down greatly at this stage by looking at images.

“He is very keen to make it clear that he has never put any real children at risk and all he has done at the Scouts has had the children’s best interests at heart.”

Shaw was also ordered to attend 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and made subject to a seven-year sexual harm prevention order.

He was also ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for the same period of time.

The Scout Association issued a statement following an earlier hearing confirming Shaw was now barred from the organisation.

A spokesperson said: "The safety of young people in our care is out number one priority. We are aware of this case. Shaw was suspended from Scouting in October 2021 as soon as we were made aware of his arrest.

"The authorities have advised that there were no scout members involved in his offending. Following his court appearance Shaw will be excluded from scouting and he will never volunteer with us again.

"The Scout Association has clear safeguarding procedures that all our leaders must comply with and we carry out stringent vetting of all adults who work with young people."

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