Former scout leader jailed for sexually abusing young boys

Taffy Mark Evans, 56, systematically groomed and sexually assaulted young boys Credit: Sussex Police

A former scout leader who systematically groomed and sexually assaulted young boys between the ages of seven and 14 has been jailed for a total of 26 years.

Taffy Mark Evans, 56, unemployed, now of The Crescent, Hurstbourne Tarrant, Hampshire, but formerly of Old Shoreham Road, Lancing, West Sussex, committed the offences between during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He'd been convicted of 18 counts of sexual offences against six young boys in Sussex, Surrey and Swansea as well as seven offences of possession of indecent images of children.

Evans will also be a registered sex offender for life and will not be eligible to apply for parole until two-thirds of the way through his 26-year sentence.

Evans worked as a scout leader in Reigate in the 1990s, before leaving the Scouts movement in 1996. He was also a train guard based in Redhill for many years, working on trains in the South East. However he did not first meet any of the boys in the Scouts or on the trains.

He moved to Hampshire after he was arrested and none of the offences relate to his time there.

Evans met three of the boys, who were from the same family, when visiting a friend who was a neighbour in the same road in Surrey, and quite separately met the other three through the family members working on the railway also in Surrey.

He first gained their confidence as a helpful family friend who took them out on trips, including train journeys, swimming and fishing, bought them presents and treats, but then gradually began to abuse each of them, without the others knowing what was happening, except for two of the boys.

One of the victims had been so traumatised by his experiences that this was having an increasingly adverse effect on his own life. In 2014 he came forward. We began enquiries, and further family member disclosed to us that he was also a victim. A fourth victim was identified during the enquiry. Then, when it became known that Evans had been charged, the two other victims came forward.

Five of the victims had to give evidence in court as Evans would not admit the offences against them, and they did so with clarity and courage. The video recorded evidence of the sixth victim was so impactive that once Evans saw it he pleaded guilty to the two indecent assaults on him, and that victim was spared the courtroom appearance.

The bravery of all six was instrumental in bringing Evans to justice. It is due to their courage that this man was convicted. This is another case that shows all such reports will be taken seriously and will be investigated to seek justice wherever possible, no matter how long ago the events occurred."

– Detective Constable Heidi McCall, West Sussex Investigations