A MARRIED former scout leader has been sentenced to four years' imprisonment for a string of historic sex crimes against a schoolboy.

Peter Swynford, 52, from Kenton Road, Early, was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault on a boy under 16 at Reading Crown Court following a seven day trial.

The charges relate to a string of offences that took place between August 1991 and August 1994 and involved sexual activities in a local park and Swynford's then home.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This case involved sexual activity between a man, now aged 52, and a boy in Reading in the early nineties.

“Peter Swynford took advantage of his status as a scout leader to prey on the young boy, ply him with pornography, alcohol and drugs and then abuse him for his own sexual gratification.

“It is only due to the great courage of the victim, and his feeling of duty to protect others, that the despicable behaviour of this man has been exposed. I would like to pay tribute to the victim for his strength, tenacity and selflessness in coming forward.

During the trial Swynford admitted contact with the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, but denied that it was without consent and that the victim was under 16.

He was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault on a male on March 8, three years after he was arrested on September 17 2013.

A full report on the trial will be available in Thursday's edition of the Reading Chronicle.