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Antony Allen - preyed on children for ten years, but now behind bars

Jail for scout leader who preyed on Newham youngsters

HE WAS IN A position of trust as a Scout Leader, but Antony Allen betrayed that trust – and now he has been sentenced to 11 years in jail after being convicted of a series of sexual offences against minors.

Allen, 27, from Plaistow, was convicted in February of six counts of sexual assault of a child under 13 and a further six counts of sexual activity with a child under 15. He was sentenced at Snaresbrook last Friday, for these offences and also for possessing and making a number of images and vidoes of children.

The offences were committed against eight children, aged between eight and 16, from the 25th Newham East Scout Group at varying locations in East London and at scout camps in Essex, Kent and Wales.

Allen had worked with this Scout Group on a voluntary basis for ten years. During those years he worked for a year as a teaching assistant and a learning mentor at a primary school. He was a volunteer in the Army Reserves and was training in Estonia with his unit – 7 Rifles G Company, based in West Ham – when the allegations of his sexual misconduct came to light.

Allen was investigated when one of his victims realised that his younger brother was about to move from Cubs to Scouts and would be at risk from Allen. The victim told his mother not to let the brother join that Scouts Group. Police became involved and soon other victims came forward.

Allen was repatriated from Estonia for questioning – after which he was released on bail. He responded by leaving suicide notes at the homes of some of his victims and ten disappearing. The police seized his computer from his home and were then able to arrest Allen again when they found that it contained obscene and unlawful images.

At his trial, the Court heard that Allen planned his assaults carefully. He would get to know the friends and families of his victims and win their trust before beginning to befriend their children – and then assault them when he had won their confidence. Many of his victims have been left severely traumatised by their experiences.

Police and victims speak out
PC Bruce Upson, from the Metropolitan Police Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command (CASO), led the investigation in this case. He praised the bravery of the young boys who helped bring Allen to account, saying, “These children have shown great courage throughout the investigation. Their actions in finding the strength to come forward and report the matter has prevented other potential offences occurring.”

PC Upson also made a specific plea to any other potential victims who believe they have been abused by Allen. “Allen was a predatory offender who used his well-established position as a scout leader to gain access to children and commit sexual offences against them whilst along the way earning the respect and trust of families,” he said. “If there is anyone else out there who believes they or someone they are close to may also have been a victim of Allen, I would urge them to contact us a soon as possible on our dedicated NSPCC hotline number of 0800-048 0278 quoting ‘Operation Stanhope’.”

The mother of one of the younger victims, speaking after Allen was sentenced, said, “[Antony’s actions have impacted on our day to day lives as he didn’t just abuse [the victim] physically but has scarred him mentally for life. He has left us shocked to the core and we will never trust anyone again. […] My heart goes out to the families of all the victims that have been taken in and had their trust abused. I can’t thank the police enough for all they have done to get this conviction – they have been amazing to me and to the child victims.”

•Read more about it:
Child Sexual Exploitation: Met reveal warning signs
Teacher jailed after sexual activity with boy


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