Burnham-On-Sea Scout leader denies sexual allegations
Burnham-On-Sea Scout leader David Burland has told a court this
week that the allegations against him are a "complete invention".
Burland, 54, is standing trial accused of carrying out 33
sexual offences over a 23-year period.
told Taunton Crown Court on Tuesday that allegations which claimed
he has shown a child a pornographic video were untrue as he did
not even have a video player in his house.
Burland added that he was "not grooming anybody" and
pointed out that the same "straplines" and phrases came
up as they were part of a conspiracy against him.
barrister Ian Fenny said the accounts of alleged victims bore
similarities because Mr Burland had allegedly used repeated patterns
to abuse his victims. Mr Burland also told the court that the
allegations started when he threw out a teenager from his unit
for discussing sexual issues with other younger scouts. He said
that was when the "false allegations" against him began.
Family members, including Mr Burlands wife, took to the
stand to support his account of events. Defence solicitor Rebecca
Bradbury also read several character references for Mr Burland
from friends and others outside his family.
They highlighted Mr Burlands devoted time to the Scout movement,
describing him as a "family man" and an "absolute
Burland - who was suspended by the Scout Association - has consistently
denied all the charges. The case continues.