Ex-scout leader jailed for raping boy aged 12

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A former scout leader was jailed for nine years yesterday for indecently assaulting children.

Patrick Rendall, 27, of Sheerness, Kent, pleaded guilty at a previous court hearing to 22 offences involving rape of a boy aged 12 and videoing sex acts to download and distribute through the internet.

He also asked the court to consider 281 other offences of making and distributing indecent images of young children on the internet.

Speaking outside Maidstone Crown Court after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Lee Catling said the case was one of the worst he had encountered. "We are policing the internet and cyber-crime. If people think that in the safety of their own houses they can get involved in this type of crime they are wrong and today's sentence indicates that.''

Judge Andrew Patience QC, said: "It is hard to imagine more serious offences than this, abusing this boy to the extent that you did for as long as you did. There can be no excuse.'' He added: "I have no doubt that you are and remain a danger to children."

Peter Swain, for the prosecutin, told the court that Rendal was arrested in March this year as part of a nationwide campaign against child pornography on the internet.

A search of the former scout leader's home uncovered computer equipment. Rendall told police he had used internet chat rooms to contact other paedophiles and exchange child pornography.