Former Scout leader sentenced for watching illegal content of young boys

Nigel Shaw was caught with over 1,679 indecent images of young boys. Credit: Evening Gazette

A former Scout leader and Parkrun photographer has appeared before a crown court judge charged with watching illegal content showing young boys being sexually abused.

Nigel Shaw was sentenced, at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday 9 August, to a two-year community order with a 30-day rehabilitation requirement.

A community order is a non-custodial sentence with specific requirements.

The 61-year-old is required to take part in various sex offender rehabilitation programmes as part of the order, including the Maps for Change course.

Judge Howard Crowson told Shaw: "You have lost part of your life that was precious to you. At the same time, you've caused people anxiety, knowing you're involved in youth groups whilst at the same time, downloading these images."There is no evidence that you've acted directly with a child, but you are a person with an interest in young boys."

The court heard that Nigel Shaw, was caught with 1,541 category C images - which included 12 videos - of boys being sexually abused; and 138 category B images - including eight videos - showing "male juveniles in their early teens".

Police raided Shaw's Hartlepool home after receiving information that he had the images.Prosecutor Emma Atkinson told the court that Shaw, 61, who lives alone, "looked shaken by the officers' attendance but directed them to a number of devices".The images and videos were stored on an external hard drive, his laptop, and a CD rom.

Nigel Shaw is banned for life from any further involvement with the Scouts. Credit: Evening Gazette

Shaw, of Hayston Road in Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to two charges of making indecent images between June 2014-October 2021, at Teesside Magistrates' Court in a hearing on 12 July.

The court previously heard that Shaw is banned for life from any further involvement with the Scouts.

Offering mitigation, his barrister, Alex Bousfield, said: "He's done a lot of good in his life and he's let himself down greatly. He's keen to make it clear that he's never done anything to children he's met - that's not why he was involved in the Scouts.

"The Scouts, it's something he thinks is valuable to others. He now accepts that he has the attractions that he has - but they are not something he has ever acted upon."

Mr Bousfield said that Shaw had brought a bag of clothes with him to court, and that, he'd "been very concerned about what might happen to him."

Mr Bousfield said that his client had contacted the charity, "Stop It Now" and has started counselling and rehabilitation: "He's clearly an educated man and he is getting through the worksheets very quickly. He's doing everything he can to address his issues."

The judge said it was unusual for an offender not to look at category A material, in addition to lower categories; and he acknowledged a report from probation, that found Shaw can be rehabilitated, and recommended programmes that ensure his risk problems are addressed.

Shaw was also given a five-year sexual harm prevention order, which limits his online usage and prohibits him from any unsupervised contact with under 18s. Shaw will also have to comply with notification requirements for the next five years.

He was also ordered to pay £340 in court costs. The judge added: "Any breach will be punishable by prison."

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