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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 October, 2004, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Claims of abuse 'a hate campaign'
A former Scout leader charged with indecently assaulting boys told jurors he was victim of a "hate campaign".

Former magistrate Trevor Richardson, 69, of Barton Seagrave, Northants, was district commissioner of the Kettering Scouts Association.

He denies indecently assaulting five boys from 1966 to 1972.

Mr Richardson told Leicester Crown Court on Thursday that he was the victim of a hate campaign orchestrated by one of the alleged victims.

It's a big hate campaign. Why did all these people stay in the Scout movement for such a long time?
Trevor Richardson
Mr Richardson was awarded an MBE in 1998 for services to Scouting after 40 years as district commissioner of Kettering Scouts' Association.

His accusers, now in their late 40s but then aged 11 to 16, came forward when one of them met Mr Richardson at a social gathering.

Jurors at Leicester Crown Court have heard allegations that Mr Richardson carried out acts of indecency against the boys during first aid lessons and rehearsals for a gang show.

Mr Richard said the accusations were lies.

"I personally think it's been orchestrated by one of them, I'm not mentioning any names.

'Big hate campaign'

"It's a big hate campaign. Why did all these people stay in the Scout movement for such a long time ? Why did they come back and help on a Scout camp if they were that disgusted with it ?

"I kept trying to think why this is happening. Why have I had 12 months of absolute hell?"

Police examinations of the defendant's computer had found no evidence of paedophilia, jurors heard.

Mr Richardson said there was "no basis whatsoever" for the claims of abuse.

The hearing continues.

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