Scoutleader Stephen Scholes, of 45th Newsome Scout Group, was convicted yesterday of abusing 12 boys over a 20 year period.

He used his positions as scoutleader of 45th Newsome Scout group, assistant commissioner in the Scout Association, and as a teacher in the area at Holmfirth High School, Combs Hill Residential School and Royds Hall School in Huddersfield to meet young boys and abuse them.

The abuse occurred throughout the 1970s to the 1990s, and Scholes was said to have “engineered situations” in which he could abuse the boys, including on camping trips and on outward bound excursions. Most of his victims were around the age of 13 years old.

Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC said during the sentencing hearing “These are not single assault offences but a pattern of conduct against 12 victims over more than 20 years. It is clear you had some distorted thinking”. He also said that the abuse was clearly an abuse of power.

Despite the gravity of his offences and the number of victims Scholes was surprisingly only jailed for six years.