Former Scout leader Terry Figg from Stevenage created 'well-planned opportunities to groom and abuse boys'
PUBLISHED: 15:32 24 November 2016
One of the victims of an ‘opportunist’ paedophile Scout leader who preyed on children to sexually abuse them has spoken out after his abuser was found guilty of a string of offences.
Terry Figg, 68, of Cook Road in Stevenage, was convicted by a jury of 11 offences of sexual assault, involving boys under the age of 14, at Croydon Crown Court last week.
The offences took place in Orpington – on the outskirts of London – between April 1970 and December 1980, when Figg was an assistant Scout leader.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, called the crimes an ‘abuse of power’, and said Figg had access to ‘a plethora of young boys’ whom he ‘groomed’ after creating ‘well-planned opportunities’ to do so.
He said Figg was helped by the fact the Scout troop he was in was ‘loosely organised’ – but said he is grateful the system has been tightened up since the 1970s, so it is less easy for crimes such as Figg’s to happen.
He said: “It’s taken an awful long time for justice to come around and it’s still quite traumatic after all this time.
“It’s good to see justice has been done and a sex offender is off the streets – and he will carry that label when he is back on the streets.”
The victim blames the aimlessness of his own teenage years – he dropped out of school and had a very ‘slow start’ in life – on Figg’s abuse, and said he was hampered by the fact he didn’t feel able to talk about it until he was in his mid-20s.
He urges families to try to have ‘open networks of communication’, so abuse victims don’t feel worried about telling their loved ones.
He overcame the trauma and is now married, a proud dad and has made a success of his career.
He said: “When I saw Figg again in court, I saw a sorry, withered old man.
“If he’s totally repentant, I don’t feel any animosity for him.
“I hope he has seen the error of his ways and he should feel the full force of justice.
“If that means he is locked up then so be it – but the main issue is he should be separated from youngsters.”
He also praised the ‘tireless’ work of the Metropolitan Police in investigating the case.
In recent years Figg was known in Stevenage as a campaigner who fought to protect bus services.
He was initially arrested on March 19, 2015. He was charged on January 21, 2016 and bailed to appear at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on February 17.
He is set to be sentenced for his crimes at Croydon Crown Court on December 9.