August 2016

Scout leader admits trying to get girl to send him an indecent photo of herself

A Scout leader from Gloucester who tried to get a girl aged under-16 to send him an indecent photo of herself was today bailed to await sentence.

Mark Andrew Curtis, 39, of Lichfield Road, Barnwood, had earlier denied charges of having sexual activity with the teenage girl by touching her in October 2014, and inciting her to send him an indecent photo in January 2015.

He was to have stood jury trial at Gloucester Crown Court today but changed his plea to the incitement charge at the last minute.

The other charge was not proceeded with.

The Recorder of Gloucester Judge Jamie Tabor QC said that by admitting the more serious charge Curtis had saved his young victim the stress of having to give evidence.

Defending, Joe Maloney told the court that Curtis had been willing to plead guilty to the second charge at a much earlier date but this had been unacceptable to the prosecution at the time.

The court has been told that Curtis groomed the girl by text messages.

He was bailed for a pre-sentence report from the probation service to be prepared, with the condition that he must not contact his victim. He will return for sentence on September 5.

Judge Tabor later spoke to the victim and thanked her for her courage in being ready to give evidence if the trial had gone ahead today.

But he told her to remember that anything she put on social media was not private.