JUSTICE finally caught up with a scout leader who abused four boys when he took them camping in the 1970s and 80s.
Brian Lewis, 81, of Gilpin Avenue, Hucclecote, was jailed for a total of five years and months today for sex offences against the teenagers more than 30 years ago.
Gloucester Crown Court heard three of his victims, then aged between 12 and 14, were scouts he took away on camping trips.
The fourth was a boy he preyed on after he had been asked to resign from the Scout movement in 1982.
Jailing Lewis, Judge Jamie Tabor QC told him as a result of his offences “all your victims have suffered from various psychiatric problems, principally in forming relationships with others”.
Lewis admitted seven charges of indecent assault and two of gross indecency with boys dating from September 1978 to December 1984.
Julian Kesner, prosecuting, said the case had come to light thanks to the bravery of one of the three scouts who decided in September 2012 to report Lewis.
The scouts all told similar stories of how Lewis would take groups of boys away on camping trips around the UK.
He had a camper van and boys would sleep with him in the vehicle or sometimes in tents.
During the nights Lewis would grope them and perform sex acts.
All three scout victims had told police that Lewis was a good, friendly, knowledgeable and respected leader – but one with a dark side.
One victim said: “I always knew that what was happening was not right. But I never understood how wrong it was.”
Mr Kesner said that in 1982 Lewis was asked to resign from the scouts after allegations were made by other boys – not those involved in this case.
He then turned his attentions to a fourth victim and started molesting him.
Joe Maloney, defending, handed the court references for Lewis including one from a former scout who went on to become a police officer.
“The references speak of his great leadership skills and of him passing them on to others,” he said.
Mr Maloney said he hoped the victims would feel a sense of relief and closure following Lewis’s admissions.
Lewis felt great remorse and wished to apologise to everyone involved, he added.
Judge Tabor told Lewis: “You have impressed many people. Regrettably, as in some other recent cases, there was another side to you, the dark side, and it was a side that may not have reached the public’s ears until after your death.
“You used your role to gain access to young boys as a means of gratifying your sexual appetite.”