Update: Papworth challenged his sentence at London’s Appeal Court on January 18, claiming it was too harsh. After a brief hearing, Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing, sitting with two other judges, cut his sentence to five years and four months.

February 2018

Paedophile Scout leader dressed up as young girl to encourage teen boys to perform sex acts over the internet

A Paedophile Scout leader who dressed up as a young girl to encourage teenage boys to perform sex acts over the internet has been jailed for 10 years

26-year-old Richard Papworth of Sawbridgeworth – who was also caught with thousands of child sex abuse images – has been sent to prison for six years and given an extended sentence of 4 years.

Prosecutor Robert Bryan said: “He posed on the Internet as a young 18-year-old female”. 15 of the 22 boys tricked by Papworth were aged under 13.

St Albans Crown Court heard how when police raided the Explorer Leader’s home in Hertfordshire last year, they found twenty-two explicit videos dating from February to March 2012.

The videos were found last year after the Scout Association had “safeguarding concerns” about Papworth and got in touch with the local authority. It led to the police arresting him for engaging in sexual communication with a child.

Papworth appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to three charges of downloading indecent images of children, possessing a prohibited image and engaging in sexual communication with a child.

He had downloaded 1,003 indecent images of children which were at Category A, the most serious level, showing the rape of young children

In addition he admitted four charges of causing a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and downloading the images found on the USB stick.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told him: “This was undoubtedly a gross breach of trust on every level. As a scout leader in charge of youngsters you drove a coach and horses through safeguarding regime.

You tricked and conned young boys for your own selfish, sexual gratification.

You have almost no real insight into your own sexuality and the harm your uncontrolled sexuality has on youngsters who come under your grasp”.

The made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and said Papworth must register as a sex offender for life and banned him from ever working with children.