Leeds scout leader jailed for historic abuse of young boys

Peter Ridsdale.
Peter Ridsdale.
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A Leeds scout leader who sexually abused young boys in the 1970s and 1980s has been jailed for 16 years.

Peter Ridsdale abused his victims on many occasions at his home, his allotment and on a trip away.

He would buy them food and others gifts, some of which he would bring back from his time away in the navy.

Ridsdale, 77, of Strawberry Avenue, Garforth, was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court after admitting seven serious sexual offences, 15 indecent assaults and nine offences of indecency with a child.

The court heard the offences took place against three victims in Leeds between 1970 and 1982 when the boys were aged were aged between 11 and 17 years old.

Describing the offending, judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “It was characterised throughout those many years by grooming and a breach of trust.

“I acknowledge that I am now dealing with a very different man than one from many years ago.

“One of the reasons it is so serious is that has had a lifelong affect on your victims. You not only robbed those boys of their childhood, you robbed them of a normal life.”

After the case, Det Chief Insp Mark Griffin, who heads Leeds District Safeguarding Unit, said: “Ridsdale was responsible for a sustained pattern of sexual abuse over a number of years against young boys who should have been able to trust him not to harm them in this way.

“This was a lengthy and complex investigation and we are pleased with the very significant sentence he has received which reflects the seriousness with which offences of this nature are treated.

“We hope the fact he has now had to answer for his crimes will provide some degree of comfort to his victims

“No-one should underestimate the long-term damage that such offences have on victims.

“Many have their lives blighted for decades without being able to tell anyone what has happened to them.

“We hope this case will help to reassure other victims that they will be taken seriously and their complaints fully investigated by specialist safeguarding officers, regardless of when the offences occurred, and that we will do all we can to see those responsible brought to justice.”

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