Former scout master Barry Warren has been jailed for sexually abusing young boys while on trips to the Norfolk Broads.
Warren, 78, was sentenced by Norwich Crown Court to 10 years and six months in prison. He had previously pleaded guilty in 2014 to two counts of gross indecency and, shortly after this admission, 12 other people came forward to police, alleging they had been abused by Warren.
In light of the new allegations, Warren pleaded guilty to a total of seven counts of gross indecency and one count of sexual assault. In addition to his custodial sentence, Warren was also placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for life.
Abuse of Trust over 20 Years
Barry Warren’s crimes were committed during his time as a scout master between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s.
All offences involved boys under 16 years old. Some were as young as 13.
Norwich Crown Court heard how Warren had abused the trust placed in him over a 20-year period, committing vile acts against vulnerable young boys during scout trips around Norfolk.
Detective Constable Debbie Payne of Norfolk Constabulary commended the bravery shown by Warren’s victims in coming forward to police. She also mentioned how "Warren clearly misused his position of trust” when he took his “unassuming victims” on trips to the Norfolk Broads and weekend visits to swimming pools.
Claims Against the Scout Association
It is possible for the Scout Association to be held responsible for abuse by scout masters such as Barry Warren through the principle of vicarious liability. This means that the Scout Association could be held responsible for abuse by scout masters on the basis that they had a relationship with the Scout Association that was akin to employment, and that they used their position to abuse victims.
Last year, the Scout Association issued an apology to people who had been abused during their time in the Scouts and reportedly paid out around half a million pounds in compensation to survivors of abuse from 2012 to 2014.
Jessica Standley is a Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
Slater and Gordon have the UK’s most experienced team of child abuse lawyers and are currently representing over 800 survivors of abuse including cases involving the Scout Association. Many of the survivors we represent have been abused by people in positions of trust at institutions such as schools, children’s homes and religious organisations.
We understand the courage it takes to speak out about abuse suffered in the past and give you our assurance that, as well as providing you with expert legal advice, any communication with us will be dealt with in absolute confidence.
For a free and completely confidential consultation, call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or, if you’d prefer to contact us online then please do so, and let us know where and when you’d like us to call you.