In the Media

Paedophile can go to Center Parcs providing he doesn't talk to children

PUBLISHED August 21, 2012

Ex-Scoutmaster Stephen Daniell, 48, admitted encouraging young boys to strip naked and perform bizarre forfeits on camping trips, but was granted permission by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court to visit the child-friendly holiday resort as long as he didn't "misbehave".

The decision was made by Judge Charles Byers after Daniell, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, pleaded guilty yesterday to six offences of indecency with a child.

They included five charges of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency and one charge of committing a gross indecency with a child.

Daniell had asked the judge whether his bail condition of residence could be relaxed to enable him to go on a pre-booked trip to the Elveden Forest resort in Suffolk from September 3 to 7.

Remarking that Daniell had been "presumptuous" in booking a holiday when he was facing a possible trial, Judge Byers added that he was "not very happy" and asked defence counsel Alan Walmsley: "What's he doing at Center Parcs and who is he going with?"

After conferring with Daniell at the back of the court, Mr Walmsley said he was going with his wife and that the holiday dates "were out of the school holidays".

According to Kent Online, Judge Byers, who commented that he had not himself been to Center Parcs, then granted Daniell permission.

Imposing an extra bail condition that he does not have direct or indirect contact with a child under 16, Judge Byers said: "There will be no walking up to anybody and suggesting a little chat."

He also questioned whether Daniell's wife was aware of the court proceedings. It was confirmed that she was.

Daniell, who works as a window cleaner, had been due to go on trial yesterday for eight offences of indecency with a child but pleaded guilty before it started to six of the charges. The remaining two were ordered to be left on file.

Prosecutor Lucy Luttman said Daniell, who has a caution for indecent exposure, met the boys through a conservation group.

The offences occurred during trips to Snowdonia National Park in Wales.

Miss Luttman said Daniell would encourage them to "get naked" and play forfeit games.

She said: "One was made to skirt between the layers of the tent, which was wet with condensation, and another had to remove keys from the top of a tent using his feet."

Adjourning sentence for probation reports, Judge Byers told Daniell he had not yet "made up his mind" as to his fate.

"I would like to know what other avenues may be open to me of a constructive nature," he added.