offences trial underway for former Burnham-On-Sea Scout leader
trial of a former Burnham-On-Sea scout leader accused of committing
a string of sex offences began on Monday (January 23rd).
Burland, 54, denies 33 charges including indecent assault, sexual
activity with a child, indecency and exposure.
allegedly subjected three boys and a girl, now aged between 16
and 38, to a series of abuse, threatening them if they spoke out.
was caught as he allegedly sexually assaulted a girl, now aged
17, who had previously confided in an adult that she was concerned
about Mr Burland's behaviour towards her.
charges - which relate to children under the age of 16 - are alleged
to have taken place between 1987 and 2010.
Ian Fenny told the jury of eight women and four men that the former
Scout leader 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,
perhaps arrogant. He abused a young girl in a way that worried
and disturbed her."
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."
Burland faces 18 charges of indecent assault with a boy under
16, nine charges of sexually assaulting boys under 16, three counts
of sexually assaulting a girl under 16, two counts of indecency
with a child and one count of indecent exposure. He denies all
charges against him and the trial was adjourned to Tuesday.
Scout Association suspended Mr Burland from any form of contact
with the movement as soon as the allegations were reported.