Former Scouts leader Michael Costin found guilty of child sexual offences for third time | Bolt Burdon Kemp Former Scouts leader Michael Costin found guilty of child sexual offences for third time | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Former Scouts leader Michael Costin found guilty of child sexual offences for third time

A former Scout leader and teacher considered a “hero” by youngsters has been convicted of sexually abusing children for a third time.

Michael Costin, 59, groomed his victims with drugs and alcohol before sexually abusing them.

The prolific paedophile was found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault on a child on Friday, 9 February 2024 following a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Twelve victims came forward to police forces between 2017 and 2023, detailing harrowing accounts of the sexual abuse they faced by Costin in the Eighties.

Then, Costin volunteered at St Augustine’s Church in Rush Green where he abused his position of power as a Scout leader, molesting three victims aged between 12 and 16.

The court heard that these young children looked up to Costin and saw him as a “hero”. He abused his duty to look after those in his care by plying the young boys with drugs and alcohol and then sexually abusing them.

Some victims received love letters by Costin and were forced to perform sexual acts at camps.

Costin has a history of criminal conduct as he was first convicted for sexual offences in 1996 at Ipswich Crown Court of four counts of indecent assault against Kirton Scouts. At the time, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Reports of abuse against Costin also arose in the preceding years where he worked at a school as a geography teacher. However he denied these claims and this did not result in any action.

Shortly after his 10 years on the sex offenders’ register expired in 2006, Costin abused children again. In 2007, the prolific paedophile relocated to Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and began grooming and sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy and his 15-year-old girlfriend. In 2011, he was found guilty of 11 counts of sexual activity with children and also of sexual assault on the teenage boy.

Despite being a convicted child abuser, Costin was the chairman of Millwall Rugby Club, but was expelled by the club when his offences came to light. At his previous court case, the court heard how he attempted to perform sexual acts with a young boy in a vehicle outside the Millwall Rugby Club.

After remaining in jail for 13 years, Costin’s recent trial begun in 2023 where he also pleaded guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault on 13 June 2023.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

Detective Chief Inspector Tariq Farooqi, of Metropolitan Police, has praised the bravery and courage of the victims who are likely to have suffered awful consequences following the abuse.

My thoughts are with all of those he has abused.

We want all survivors to know they are not alone. Any time is the right time to come forward and there will be support available. Not only can you seek justice through the criminal process, but you can also seek justice in the civil process, and we believe you should be supported through both avenues.

Victims of sexual abuse deserve to be compensated for the harm caused to them.

A civil claim can provide compensation for your pain and suffering, financial losses and enable survivors to access can help funding for therapy and losses suffered as a result of the abuse they have experienced, to aid you on your healing journey.

Anyone who has suffered abuse can contact our specialist abuse team directly for free, no- obligation and strictly confidential advice about your rights.

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