Shropshire Star

Scout leader who stole kids' £8,000 holiday cash will take 13 years to pay it back

A former scout leader who stole nearly £8,000 from children for a trip to Switzerland will be paying it back for the next 13 years.

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Colin Llewellyn stole money the 1st Bayston Hill Scouts had painstakingly raised for a jamboree in Bern to feed his online gambling habit.

At a proceeds of crime hearing at Shrewsbury Crown Court, bankrupt Llewellyn was ordered to pay the full amount in compensation back to the scouts.

Due to owing money to his family, he was told he would only have to pay £35 a month for the first six months, and £50 a month thereafter - meaning it will take around 13 years to pay his dues.

Llewellyn, 56, of Sidney Butts Close, Dorrington, previously admitted one count of theft in July and was given a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for two years at the time, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

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He represented himself at his proceeds of crime hearing.

"Since day one, I always said I wanted to repay what I can," he said.

"I've done wrong and I need to be able to do that."

The offending of Llewellyn, a scout leader for 27 years, first came to light in October last year when he messaged an official he knew from the Scout Association on Facebook, saying he needed to talk about something.

He admitted what he had done and the police were called. Llewellyn realised he had to tell the truth after he was unable to pay the deposit for the jamboree.

Bank statements showed that Llewellyn had been using scout group's money for bets for around 12 months, and sometimes he reimbursed the coffers when he had a win. But his gambling got out of control and he couldn’t make the money back for the trip. Llewellyn told police that he’d had a gambling problem since the age of 16.

A Scout Association official to whom Llewellyn confessed described his actions as “a huge breach in trust” and that he will have diminished people’s confidence in giving money to charity.

Judge Peter Barrie told Llewellyn: "The more quickly you pay it, the better it will be for you."

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