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Women accuse Scouts of "silencing" allegations of abuse

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Two women who allege they were sexually abused at the age of 16 by their Scout leader, Phillip Perks, have accused the Scouts of attempting to silence them, and was even allowed to remain in his role after they first made allegations against him.

Perks, known locally as “Pinky” led Les Pugh’s Own Explorer Scouts Unit in Penarth for two decades.  After the women – now in their 30’s – reported the allegations again he was arrested and questioned by Police in March 2022.  Perks was found dead a few days later in the Scout hut – he is believed to have taken his own life.  Police say that he died whilst on bail and awaiting a charging decision by the CPS.

Both women who came forward have said they are concerned there are more victims who are yet to come forward.  They also say that they have repeatedly asked the Scouts to inform all current and former member of the Scout Unit about the allegations but say that they feel “silenced” by the organisation.  One said  “I’m just so worried that there are other people out there who have been abused by him,” “It feels like there is a systematic attempt to silence us and get us to drop it.”

The Scouts said they are conducting an internal safeguarding investigation which is expected to conclude in March 2023.  A spokesperson said “We are aware of this case and are in communication with the two young women who have shared their story with you. We are taking the information they’ve given us very seriously.”  “This is a complex and detailed case and we have worked with the police on the issues raised, particularly around the issue of other potential victims.

David Hawkins, a Specialist in Child Abuse Law with Biscoes Solicitors said “If anyone has been affected by this and wants to know what their legal rights are in seeking redress, please contact us in complete confidence and we will be happy to speak to you.”