11 March 2016
Abuse Victims of Scout Leader to Launch Legal Action
Victims of a convicted paedophile scout leader who abused boys as young as eight are launching legal action against the Scout Association.
Mike Medhurst, 61, was this week jailed for more than five years after he admitted 11 counts of sex abuse against boys 25 years ago.
Two of his victims are now launching a legal bid against the association, arguing they are responsible for his actions as he was effectively employed by them.
Medhurst, from Birmingham, befriended boys’ parents and took their children, who were aged between eight and 11, to motorsport events, camping and mini holidays where he abused them.
Some of the offences occurred after insisting he share tents and sleeping bags with boys on camping trips, while one child was abused every night of a week-long stay at a bed and breakfast.
One of his victims told how he quickly befriended his family and played the role of “a cool older brother”.
Kim Harrison, a specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon who is representing two of Medhurst’s victims, urged other people who claim to have been abused by him to come forward.
She said: “This man robbed innocent children of their childhoods through his evil acts. Many are still haunted by what he did to them and to this day are receiving counselling
“He systematically targeted and groomed his victims’ parents, gaining their trust so he was able to take them away and abuse them.
“The police believe there are many more victims who may have been abused by Medhurst and I would urge them to come forward now.”
One boy was assaulted on a campsite at Donington Park, another boy was molested following a trip to the 1984 British Grand Prix, while another said he was abused during a visit to Mallory Park race track.
He also lured boys to his own home where he plied them with alcohol before abusing them. Some of his victims told of how they wept during his attacks but he ignored their pleas.
Medhurst was jailed in 1991 for sex offences against children but kept quiet about abusing many boys during his time as leader of a scout group.
A fresh police investigation was launched when new victims came forward after they told of their abuse to their partners.
West Midlands Police detectives worked with colleagues in Leicestershire - with offences having taken place in Hinckley and Castle Donington between 1981 and 1987 - and secured 11 charges against four victims.
Medhurst admitted ten counts of indecent assault on boys under 16 and one count of gross indecency on a boy under 14.
He was sentenced to five years and four months in prison at Leicester Crown Court on Monday.
Leicestershire Police Detective Constable Jamie Carr said: “Medhurst abused boys over many years, befriending them and building up trusting relationships.
“This has been an emotional time for victims who have been dealing with the abuse secretly. Hopefully these convictions offer some comfort that Medhurst has been brought to justice for these horrible crimes and it will help them move on with their lives.
“The victims have shown great bravery in coming forward to report what Medhurst subjected them to. I thank them for that and I would urge anyone else who has suffered at Medhurst’s hands in the past to get in touch so we can achieve justice for them too.”
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