Scout leader jailed for abusing young child

A FORMER Scout leader covering the Daventry area who sexually abused a young child as part of a depraved paedophile ring has been jailed indefinitely.

Peter Malpas, aged 47, of Moulton, who is a former assistant county commissioner, was jailed today at Reading Crown Court.

He was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years’ imprisonment but Judge Stephen John branded him a continuing danger to children so handed him an indeterminate sentence for public protection, with a minimum term of five years and nine months.

Malpas will only be released once he is no longer considered a danger to children, and could be on licence for the rest of his life.

Judge John said: “It is difficult to imagine a more serious case of its kind, falling short of rape of a child under 13 years.

“You present a very high risk to children. This was as close to rape as you could get.”

Malpas was part of a sick paedophile ring who created and distributed thousands of indecent images of children.

He was jailed after admitting to police how he had travelled to the Windsor area where he abused a nine-year-old girl in the back of a car.

The court heard how Malpas told police how he become involved in a paedophile ring after initially using gay chatrooms on the internet. He made prior arrangement with other members to meet the girl. He met the girl, named in court as Child A for legal reasons, in May 2011.

When police raided his home last January he told officers: “Something terrible has happened, I am evil.”

He then made a full admission and added: “I can’t believe what I have done. I have ruined that poor girl’s life and I have ruined my family’s lives.”

Malpas, who has HIV, posed online as a man called ‘Steve’ and was found with a memory stick containing hundreds of images of child abuse.

Nigel Daly, mitigating, said: “He has effectively lived a lie throughout his life, firstly in relation to his homosexuality, then to his wife after he contracted HIV.”

Malpas admitted sex assault of a child, sexual touching, possessing and distributing indecent images of children between March 6, 2011, and January 18.

Steve Reeves, head of safeguarding at The Scout Association, wrote to parents and carers of the group where Malpas was a leader.

He said: “The police have informed us that there is no evidence of any young people involved in Scouting, or indeed from Northamptonshire, being victims of any offence. There is no intelligence to suggest he committed any offence in his official capacity.

“The safety and welfare of people taking part in Scouting activities is our primary concern and we are committed to taking robust action to ensure scouting remains a safe and enjoyable experience for all.”

Malpas, who was also a night-away adviser for the Daventry area, was arrested in Northampton in January after a Metropolitan Police investigation.

A spokesman for The Scout Association confirmed its assistant commissioner was suspended upon his arrest.

He said: “The Scout Association condemns his actions. He was suspended from any form of contact as soon as we were informed by police. We can confirm that he will never again be allowed to work within the Scout Movement.

“The association carries out stringent vetting of all adults who work with young people and requires them to work to a strict code of practice.”