A former Sea Scout leader from Stoke-on-Trent who sexually abused nine boys over nearly 20 years has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Callum Thomas Craig, 61, was jailed by a judge at the city's crown court on Monday after admitting 18 counts of indecent assault and gross indecency at an earlier hearing.
Police said Craig used his various hobbies, which included lighting work in the theatre and an interest in traction engines, to win the trust of children in his care before assaulting them.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Dunning, who led the Staffordshire Police
investigation, welcomed the sentence.
He said after the hearing: "Craig acted in a despicable manner, using his main interests, be it the Scouts, theatre or traction engine club, to
make connections with his victims and their families.
"Having gained their trust, he then went on to sexually abuse the boys.
"I am extremely pleased that justice has been served for the many victims who
have suffered considerable trauma as a result of his crimes."
Craig's offences spanned a 17-year period between 1973 and 1990 and were carried out against boys aged between nine and 15, one of whom was in the care of social services.
Craig, of Trent Valley Road, Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent, had joined the city's 89th Sea Scouts in 1970, rising to the rank of assistant leader before he left in 1991.
He was involved with amateur dramatics and professional pantomime as a lighting technician at the North Staffordshire Theatre, and was a member of the Klondike Traction Engine Club.
His crimes were investigated by detectives on Operation Thor, a long-running
inquiry into historic cases of child abuse in Staffordshire.
Mr Dunning said: "This was a difficult investigation and I am full of praise
for the small team of officers whose dedication led to this conviction."