Burnham-On-Sea Scout leader David Burland jailed for 15 years
Burnham-On-Sea Scouts leader David Burland was jailed on Friday
for 15 years after being convicted of 33 sexual offences against
Burland, 54, from Ramsay Way, appeared for sentencing at Taunton
Crown Court on Friday morning (February 10th) after carrying out
the abuse over a 23-year period.
Graham Hume Jones ordered him to serve 15 years behind bars, of
which he is likely to serve half, with an extended licence period
to run until he reaches the age of 75.
offences, which related to three boys and a girl, were committed
between 1987 and November 2010 when he worked in the Scout movement
in the Burnham and Highbridge area. The offences included 18 counts
of indecent assault, nine counts of sexual activity with a child,
three sexual assaults and one exposure.
Detective Constable Mark Fudge, from Avon and Somerset Police,
said in a statement: "He hid behind his role as a Scout master
and hoped people would not report him."
did report his inappropriate behaviour and an investigation was
quickly launched. This uncovered other victims and I applaud them
all for the strength it must have taken to come forward. This
demonstrates that we take all allegations of abuse seriously and
will explore them thoroughly."
Ian Fenny told the jury of eight women and four men that Burland
was a sexual predator who manipulated his victims. "Of course
there came the moment when he made one mistake that let the cat
out of the bag," he said. "It was perhaps careless,
abused a young girl in a way that worried and disturbed her. She
confided in a lady... it was on one occasion in the presence of
this lady that the defendant actually touched his victim in a
wholly inappropriate way. That allowed her to say to this woman,
'did you see what he did to me?', she said, 'yes. I did'. It was
after this that investigations began."
Fenny told the court Burland had used beer and pornography to
convince the boys to engage in sexual activity with him. He would
pressure them, telling them not to be "silly", that
it was all "normal" and a bit of fun, and threatening
them by saying he would tell people they were gay if they told
anyone about his abuse.
Burland took the witness stand during the trial and strongly denied
the allegations, claiming that they were a "complete invention".
Family members also 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 which highlighted Mr Burlands devoted time to the
spokesman for The Scout Association added: "Burland was suspended
from any form of contact with the movement as soon as police began
their investigations and he has not been involved with the movement
since his arrest. We can confirm that he will never again be allowed
to work within the Scout movement. The Scout Association has co-operated
fully with the statutory agencies during this case."