Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Monday, 10 August 2009 16:19 UK

Scout leader charged over images

John McMurdo
Mr McMurdo has been suspended from his position as a scout leader

A 35-year-old scout leader from Plymouth has been charged with possessing indecent images of children.

John McMurdo, of Lipson Road, is charged with six counts of possessing indecent images and one of not giving encryption details to police.

He appeared before city magistrates and remanded in custody until 14 August.

Devon and Cornwall Police said that at this stage there was no evidence to suggest any sexual contact offences with children in his care.

'Immediately suspended'

A police spokesperson said the force had worked closely with the Scout Association and Plymouth Safeguarding Children's Board from the beginning of the investigation and would continue to do so.

Superintendent Darren Lockley said: "While investigations are at a very early stage we can confirm McMurdo was immediately suspended from his position as a scout leader in Plymouth following his arrest and charge.

"Officers have begun contacting families whose children have, or currently attend, scout groups at 11th Plymouth group based at Peverell and the 9th and 21st scout group based at North Hill (held in St Matthias Church) where McMurdo volunteered as a scout leader.

"We would like to reassure parents that we do not have any evidence at this stage to indicate any sexual activity has taken place with children in McMurdo's care."

Supt Lockley added that any parents who were concerned about their children or who believed they had information relating to the investigation should contact police.



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