May 2018

Former Oxford Scout leader spared jail over indecent images

A former Oxford Scout leader who downloaded thousands of disgusting sexual images of children has been spared jail.

Andrew Richard Thorpe, former leader of Oxford Cub Scouts, was given a community sentence at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday after admitting to three counts of making (downloading) indecent images of children.

The father-of-two, who had previously admitted his guilt in magistrates’ court, was given a community sentence of 18 months, including a rehabilitation requirement and 100 hours of unpaid work.

Police executed a warrant at Thorpe’s then-family home, understood to be in Bicester, in September last year after monitoring ‘suspicious uploads and downloads’.

Officers seized a Samsung laptop, an HP computer and an Sony Xperia mobile phone. There were 4,715 indecent images of children in total.

The images and films represented a spread Category A, the most serious images, B and C. Some showed babies under the age of one being abused.

When arrested, Thorpe delivered ‘fairly full admissions’ and accepted ‘possession of images and that he had distributed them’.

On Thursday, the court heard how Thorpe – who now lives in Stanmore Road in Birmingham – had ‘taken steps’ to understand why he felt the way he did and resolve his issues.

A sexual harm prevention order was made, but Judge Nigel Daly decided that sections restricting contact with children were unnecessary as there was no evidence Thorpe had ever touched or attempted to touch a child in a sexual way.

Delivering the sentence, Judge Daly said that he did not think a prison sentence – which would have only been a few months – would be effective in helping Thorpe ‘get to the bottom’ of his issues and stop offending.