A former scoutmaster has been jailed for 16 years for sexually abusing boys in his care.
Andrew Gibson, 84, of Weston-super-Mare, used his position of trust, first as a scoutmaster and later as a warden on Lundy Island, to abuse his victims.
He was sentenced yesterday (Tuesday, 7 June) at Bristol Crown Court for offences against five different victims, spanning a period from the late 1970s to mid-1990s.
His victims, aged between 11 and 13 when the offences took place, described in statements read out in court how the abuse had and continued to affect them.
As well as jailing Gibson, Judge William Hart also ordered him to spend a further year on extended licence.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Katrina Collier, said: “Gibson is a predatory offender who engineered opportunities to sexually abuse boys who should have been able to trust him.
“This abuse has tormented many of those boys ever since and thirty years on the impact is still clear.
“We do not underestimate the bravery and courage it takes to stand up in court and recount what happened and I’d like to thank all of the victims in this case for supporting what has been a lengthy investigation and court process.”
DC Collier added: “Together, with our partners, we’re determined to support all victims of sexual abuse and to achieve the outcome which is best for them.
“I hope this outcome gives other victims of abuse the confidence to come forward. Even if offences have been committed years ago, we can and will investigate them thoroughly.”
DC Collier was given a Crown Court Commendation from Judge Hart in recognition of her dedication and determination to obtain justice for the victims.
He said: “[DC Collier] has gone above and beyond at every turn and is a fine example of how a detective should go about her duties in a case of this complexity and difficulty and a model for her colleagues in serious sexual cases.”
Laura Opie, Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “Andrew Gibson’s work as a former Scoutmaster gave him access to young children and he exploited this over many years, abusing boys in his care.
“I would like to commend and thank the victims for their strength in coming forward to support this prosecution and in telling what happened to them.
“The CPS worked closely alongside our partners in the police to build the strongest possible case against Gibson and to ensure he was held responsible for these devastating crimes. I therefore welcome Gibson’s conviction, and the lengthy prison sentence imposed.
“The CPS is committed to delivering justice for the victims of sexual abuse.
“We want every victim to have the confidence that their case will be fully investigated by the police and that, in every case where our legal tests are met, the Crown Prosecution Service will charge and prosecute.”
If you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse, recent or non-recent, you don’t have to speak to the police. You can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website via www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk – or call 0117 342 6999.