Scout leader suspended after child sex abuse

Peter Malpas
Peter Malpas

The Scout Association has written to parents of its members after its former assistant county commissioner admitted child sex abuse and indecent images offences.

Peter Malpas, aged 47, of Moulton, is awaiting sentence after he admitted being part of a paedophile ring whose members held depraved sex parties involving children and animals at an isolated farmhouse in Wiltshire.

Childminder Joanna Gale, 35, and rail industry consultant John Connolly, 41, are alleged to have been part of the gang and are on trial at Reading Crown Court accused of conspiracy to rape and sexual assault of a girl aged under 13 years.

Malpas, who has admitted sex assault of a child by penetration, sexual touching, possessing and distributing indecent images of children between March 6, 2011, and January 18, will be sentenced at the conclusion of their trial.

Steve Reeves, head of safeguarding at The Scout Association, wrote to parents and carers of the group where Malpas was a leader.

He said: “The police have informed us that there is no evidence of any young people involved in Scouting, or indeed from Northamptonshire, being victims of any offence. There is no intelligence to suggest he committed any offence in his official capacity.

“The safety and welfare of people taking part in Scouting activities is our primary concern and we are committed to taking robust action to ensure scouting remains a safe and enjoyable experience for all.”

Malpas, who was also a night-away adviser for the Daventry area, was arrested in Northampton in January after a Metropolitan Police investigation.

Undercover officers infiltrated the ring and were led to Household Cavalry soldier Simon Davies, 37, following the arrest of Anthony Flack, who was caught in a sting operation when he agreed to meet an officer posing as a paedophile.

A spokesman for The Scout Association confirmed its assistant commissioner was suspended upon his arrest five months ago. He said: “The Scout Association is aware of court proceedings involving Peter Malpas.

“The Scout Association condemns his actions. He was suspended from any form of contact as soon as we were informed by police. We can confirm that he will never again be allowed to work within the Scout Movement. The association carries out stringent vetting of all adults who work 
with young people and requires them to work to a strict code of practice.”