Sentence to let Scout leader walk free after admitting to abusing three girls slammed by Bolton councillor

By Alex Morrisey

A judge who allowed a scout leader to walk free after admitting to abusing three girls is facing backlash from Bolton Council.

David Patterson, 66, of Stonebridge Close, Lostock, was given a 16-month jail term suspended for 18 months at Minshull Street Crown Court yesterday.

Mr Patterson had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts of historic indecent assault on the girls from 1983 to 1997.

Conservative Councillor for Heaton and Lostock Colin Shaw said: “The sentence is just not adequate for the crime in this case, it just does not sound right.”

Detective Constable Mike Mather, of Bolton Child Protection Unit, said he hoped the outcome of the case would encourage other victims of abuse to come forward.

Mr Shaw said: “It takes so much to go to the police and report these crimes.

“It is not fair on the victims, they have to deal with this for the rest of their lives and the man hasn’t gone to jail.

“It can affect any future relationship they may have, especially with men.”

The abuse came to light in August 2010 when one of his victims then in her 20s reported to police that Mr Patterson had assaulted her when she was 14.

Conservative Councilor Alan Rushton, representing the same area as Mr Shaw agreed with his comments.

He said: “I like many other people am baffled how they decide these sentences.

“I think it is absolutely ridiculous it should be longer.”

Patterson abused his victims either at his house or at a caravan, he has been ordered to sign the sex offenders register for ten years.

None of his victims were members of the Scouts.

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