[#ScoutsAbuse 8] William Henry Twigg 1988 Jun 7 Court of Appeal

William Henry Twigg worked most of his life he was a bus driver and retired after a heart attack at the age of 56. He was involved in the Scouting movement for the best part of 40 years, and at the time of these offfencs was assistant scout leader of a troop in Surrey.

He was convicted of indecent assault and gross indecency with a boy aged 13. Twigg also behaved indecently when they were alone together in the Scout hut in March 1987 which i when they were caught doing so by the Cub Scout leader.

The Cub Scout leader at once got in touch with his superior, the group Scout leader, and a little more than an hour later the two of them confronted the appellant and required his immediate resignation from the movement. It was at once obtained. They then saw the boy, who revealed that indecencies had taken place a good deal more often than once.

The appeal succeeded in a lesser sentence, reduced from 4 and half years to 3.


Some court reports have had victims names redacted and some assault details redacted.

This is a difficult balance –  normally I would think that  I should not “censor” details but on consultation with various people I have taken the decision to redact. This is mainly to protect victims, their friends and relatives from unnecessary detail and to stop the gratification of those who seek salacious details.

In addition to the obvious “victims redaction” to protect victims details, there may also be “assault redaction” across most of the spectrum of abuse. The assaults are left in the charges, but mainly redacted when repeated with reference to the individual. I have also redacted unnecessary detail of assaults.

Redaction may obscure sometimes the legal reason for the appeal, but should make no large difference to the vital information for researchers that these documents contain. That vital information is mainly names of the perpetrators, past addresses, institutions where assaults occurred, the actual charges the perpetrators faced, and dates – on which newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the links between people and places and abuse at various times to be ascertained.

Some transcripts may have been subject to automatic reading software and whilst effort has been made to correct these, the text should not be regarded as definitive.  Common mistakes in reprinting here are that quotation marks are sometimes not correct, replaced by odd symbols.

If you think that the balance is not correct or that a particular redaction needs reconsideration, please say.

This appeal is unredacted by cathy fox blog

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]



[1988] EWCA Crim J0607-19

No. 6864/B3/87


Tuesday, 7th June 1988

Lord Justice Russell

Regina v. William Henry Twigg

(Transcript of the Shorthand Notes of Marten Walsh Cherer Ltd., Pemberton House, East Harding Street, London EC4A 3AS. Telephone Numbers: 01-583 7635, 01-583 0889. Shorthand Writers to the Court).

MR. G. THRELFALL appeared as Counsel on behalf of the Appellant.


(As approved by Judge)

MR. JUSTICE McCULLOUGH: The appellant is a man of 59. On 30th October, 1987, in the Crown Court at Guildford he pleaded guilty to three offences involving a boy aged 13. These were: indecent assault, for which he was given three years’ imprisonment; gross indecency: 18 months’ imprisonment concurrent; and inciting the boy to an act of gross indecency with a woman: 18 months’ imprisonment consecutive; a total of 4 ½ years’ imprisonment. He now appeals against sentence with the leave of the Single Judge.

The offences charged in the three counts were instances of a greater number of offences which were committed between June 1986 and March 1987. The appellant had been involved in the Scouting movement for the best part of 40 years, and at the time was assistant scout leader of a troop in Surrey. He was also caretaker of the scout hut. The boy was a member of the troop. He was an enthusiastic scout and began to visit the appellant’s house on Saturday evenings in connection with Scouting activities. During these visits the appellant’s wife was always out, playing bingo, and generally the appellant would have with him in the house a woman who was in her early sixties whom he and his wife befriended. She was, to use the appellant’s own words, “a bit backward” and very easily led.

Things began, so far as indecency was concerned, with the appellant showing the boy a magazine with photographs of naked women. This was followed by a video film of naked women which was watched by the appellant, the woman and the boy. Then the appellant and the boy partially undressed and for the first time touched one another indecently. On the following visit all three of them behaved like this. As the weeks went by matters progressed. The appellant and the boy would handle one another’s penis. The boy, having been told what to do by the appellant, touched the woman’s breasts and put his finger into her vagina. The boy said that the appellant also touched the woman in front of the boy. A time came when the appellant asked the boy if he would like to have intercourse with the woman. He said yes, as he did to virtually every suggestion which the appellant made. The woman complied, as she did with virtually every suggestion concerning her which the appellant made. The boy said that the appellant helped him to penetrate her, and sexual intercourse with ejaculation followed. According to the boy this happened on five or six occasions.

There were other indecencies. The appellant kissed the boy on various parts of his body. The boy did the same to the woman. Once she took his penis in her mouth, and so on. These activities continued for some months. Latterly they also took place in the appellant’s motor car and sometimes in the woman’s house. The appellant and the boy also behaved indecently when they were alone together in the Scout hut. At the end of March 1987 they were caught doing so by the Cub Scout leader, to whom the appellant said that it was the only occasion on which anything like it had happened. The Cub Scout leader at once got in touch with his superior, the group Scout leader, and a little more than an hour later the two of them confronted the appellant and required his immediate resignation from the movement. It was at once obtained. They then saw the boy, who revealed that indecencies had taken place a good deal more often than once.

When seen by the police the appellant admitted that he had behaved indecently, but he was far from frank. He described what had happened as cuddling, touching and stroking. He would not accept the word “masturbating”, but that was what had happened. He said that he had done this only for the boy’s enjoyment and not his own, and he claimed to have experienced neither sexual arousal nor feeling since an operation to his prostate gland some 12 years before. At first he denied that any other person had ever been present, but eventually he admitted practically all that the boy had told the police. He said that the woman was “a bit dubious” the first time the boy had intercourse with her but she consented. Ultimately he agreed that intercourse could have taken place up to six times. There is doubt about his claim for his own sexual condition; the boy said that he had seen the appellant ejaculate once and had twice seen the appellant having intercourse with the woman. The appellant claimed to have got no sexual pleasure from what happened, but clearly that is nonsense. His remarks to the police and to those who have prepared reports upon him show that he does not have an adequate understanding of the gravity of his conduct or, if he has, that he is not prepared to acknowledge it.

The appellant is without previous conviction, and despite a very long association with the Scout movement there has, as far as is known, never been any suggestion that he has previously behaved in this way. He forced this boy to do nothing. There was no violence. There were no threats or bribes. The boy told the police that he enjoyed everything that happened.

Nevertheless it was a bad case, involving a gross abuse of trust. As the judge said, one cannot know how much harm was done to the boy. The judge referred also to the harm done to the Scout movement, and counsel in his submissions today has criticised this observation, but in our judgment it was properly made. Every case of this kind inevitably affects to an extent the reputation of the Scout movement. There may well be parents who discourage their sons from joining after hearing of another case like this. It is not a factor of great weight, but it has some.

Counsel for the appellant has also criticised the judge for adding to the sentence, as he undoubtedly did, because of the risk that the boy might have contracted AIDS. There was no evidence that the woman did have AIDS, and the judge rightly said that he did not add to the sentence on that account. However, he added to the sentence because, for all the appellant knew, the woman might have had AIDS and might therefore transmit it to the boy in the intercourse that he, the appellant, was inducing. It is a fact that for all he knew the appellant exposed the boy to this risk. However, the incidence of AIDS in the female population in this country is such that the risk was so slight that, while it is difficult to say that it is a factor that should have been ignored, it was, in the view of this Court, one so slight that it ought not to have had any material effect on the sentence. The remarks of the learned judge suggest that he gave it substantially more weight than he should.

It is submitted that the total sentence of 4 ½ years was too long, having regard to the circumstances of the offences, the appellant’s age and previous good character, his admissions to the police, his plea of guilty and his personal circumstances.

For most of his working life he was a bus driver. He had to retire after a heart attack at the age of 56. He is married to a woman who is some nine years older than himself. Her health is very far from good. She wrote a letter to the Court saying that she was dependent upon him for many of her daily needs. Since his imprisonment her condition has deteriorated and she now has to be looked after in a nursing home. The bringing of these proceedings has caused the appellant much distress, not least on account of the effect that his imprisonment has had on his wife. It is, in our view, correct to say that it is highly unlikely that he will ever offend again. He has now left the Scout movement.

In our view, the justice of this case can be met by the imposition of sentences totalling three years. We propose to reduce the sentence on the first count from three years’ to 18 months’ imprisonment. The concurrent sentence of 18 months on the second count remains; so does the 18 months consecutive sentence for the offence involving the woman. The result is that the total of 4 ½ years is reduced to three years. To that extent the appeal succeeds.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • One in Four [C]
  • Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area
  • A Prescription for me blog Various emotional support links [M]
  • Fresh Start Foundation Scottish not for profit group, helping child sexual abuse victims & survivors  [N]



Let justice be done though the heavens fall – Fiat justitia ruat cælum


About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in cathy fox blog, Child Abuse, Child sexual abuse, Court, Scouts, Surrey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to [#ScoutsAbuse 8] William Henry Twigg 1988 Jun 7 Court of Appeal

  1. Pingback: An Index and Timeline of Court and Court of Appeal Documents on Cathy Fox Blog | cathy fox blog on child abuse

  2. Teresa Joyce says:

    Hello Cathy

    I was looking up Dr Anthony William Baker
    On Yahoo today and cannot see your blog there at all.

    Please if you have the time can you check that your blog is there when you look up his name.
    Your blog is very good and I like to see it when I look up his name as he has closed down other accounts.
    Thanks Cathy fur all your hard work
    Exposing these bad people you are a gem.

    Thank you


    Sent from Samsung Mobile on O2

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