Published: January 24, 2012
Court hears Burnham Scout leader 'forced boy to watch explicit film'

An alleged child sex abuse victim was forced by former Burnham-On-Sea scout leader David Burland to watch a pornographic film, a jury heard on Tuesday (January 24th).

Mr Burland, 54, is accused of 33 sexual offences against children aged under 16 over a 23-year period.

Giving evidence, an alleged victim who is now aged in his late 30s, told Taunton Crown Court that he had been sexually assaulted as a scout and made to watch the film.

Mr Burland - who was suspended by the Scout Association last year, denies all the charges.

The alleged victim, who was aged 14 at the time, said that Mr Burland had taken him back to his home after a scout meeting and had made him watch a pornographic film.

He told the jury he had not wanted to watch the film but the defendant had forced him to.

He said: "I have never felt anything like it before or since. I just wished the ground would open up."

The defence accused the witness of making up his story, to which the alleged victim said: "That's simply not true."

The charges against Mr Burland relate to a period covering 23 years from November 1987 to November 2010 and include serious sexual assaults and gross indecency. There are four alleged victims in total, three boys and a girl.

On Monday, when the trial opened, prosecutor Ian Fenny described Mr Burland as a "sexual predator" who manipulated his victims. "He is skilled, he is manipulative and he hides behind a cloak of respectability," said Mr Fenny.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.



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