More child sex allegations for ex-Scout leader

A former Battle Scouts leader and Hastings councillor faces more allegations of child sex offences after a 19-month investigation.

Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 1:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:30 pm
Matthew Lock after being elected to serve St Helens ward at Hastings Borough Council in 2014

It was revealed in June, 2015, Matthew Lock was on bail after being arrested on suspicion of grooming and inciting a 15-year-old boy to engage in online sexual activity.

Police have now said the 38-year-old faces further allegations of possessing and distributing indecent images of the boy plus grooming and inciting online sexual activity with another teenage boy.

Lock has been rebailed until August 14, while the Crown Prosecution Service continue to consider a police report submitted in February. No charges have been made.

Matthew Lock in his Scout uniform at the 1st Battle Scouts parade in Battle in 2011. Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY

The former 1st Battle Scouts leader was suspended by the Scout Association ‘as soon as it was made aware’ of the arrest in November, 2014.

Sussex Police told the Observer none of the allegations relate to children at the Scouts, the allegations relate to online activity.

A Scout Association spokesman said in June, 2015: “We can confirm that Lock was a volunteer in Sussex until he was suspended.

“The Scout Association carries out stringent vetting of all adults who work with young people and requires them to work to strict guidelines outlined in the Young People First Code of Good Practice.

“As this investigation is ongoing, it would not be appropriate for the Scout Association to offer further comment at this time.”

The former St Helens ward representative resigned from Hastings Borough Council (HBC) on May 19, 2015, citing ‘personal problems’ and ‘ill health’.

But the ex-Conservative group leader had been on police bail for seven months after being arrested on November 24, 2014.

HBC spokesman Kevin Boorman said last year: “We were made aware late last year that former councillor Matthew J Lock had been questioned by the police in connection with these alleged offences but no charges had been made at that time.

“Indeed, no charges had been made up to the time he resigned as a councillor.

“We cannot make any further comment as to what action we took in connection with an individual case, but every case is judged on its merits, and action is taken as considered appropriate in relation to its particular circumstances.”

In a statement issued following his resignation in May last year, Lock said: “Members will be aware that over the last six months I have had some personal problems.

“These have yet to be resolved and have made it very difficult for me to meet my commitment to effectively represent my constituents as well as the wider duties of being a councillor.

“Regretfully, I have concluded that it is necessary to stand down from my role as councillor for St Helens ward.

“I would like to thank everyone for their kind words of support and look forward to being of active service for our community in the future.”

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