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Ex-Scout leader who filmed children in swimming pool changing rooms is jailed

Ian Butcher, of Ipswich, also filmed adults while they were showering, Suffolk Police said.

Ipswich Crown Court

A former Scout leader who filmed children getting undressed in a changing room has been jailed for 20 months.

Ian Butcher, of Ipswich, also filmed adults while they were showering, Suffolk Police said.

The 55-year-old’s offending concerned eight victims aged between 12 and 32, with six children and two adults, and spanned 19 months.

Suffolk Police said the first incident was reported by a teenage girl in December 2022.

She said Butcher had filmed her over the top of a cubicle in the changing rooms of a swimming pool, and that this had happened a number of years earlier.

Detectives began an investigation, with Butcher arrested in January 2023.

His phone was seized and police found 11 videos of voyeurism, mostly filmed in swimming pool changing cubicles.

There were also 20 screenshots from the videos, capturing moments when nudity was visible.

Officers identified eight victims from the footage but were unable to ascertain who six further people in the footage were.

Suffolk Police said Ipswich Crown Court was told Butcher was a Scout leader at the time of his offending and had been involved with the Scout Association for almost 40 years, reaching the level of assistant district commissioner.

The force said Butcher admitted at an earlier hearing to four sexual offence charges, numbering two indecent image counts and two of voyeurism.

He was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday to 20 months in prison, Suffolk Police said.

He was also made the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

Detective Constable Santiago Nield, from the Internet Child Abuse Investigation Team, said: “Ian Butcher was a person in a position of trust and in the majority of the cases we identified, his offences involved a clear abuse of that trust.

“The crimes we discovered took place over a period of almost two years, so his offending was persistent for a significant length of time.

“Although not all of the victims were children, the majority were and so he clearly had a sexual interest in juveniles.”

He also praised the “bravery” of the girl who first reported Butcher’s offending, adding this was “crucial” to his crimes being uncovered.

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