Search

Jailed child abuser being sued

PUBLISHED: 08:00 30 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:12 07 July 2010

A former Dereham Scout master who was jailed for six years for abusing young boys is being sued for damages by one of his victims.

Roy Mercer, 64, admitted 31 sexual offences against three boys - aged 11-16 at the time - over a 30-year period between the 1950s and 1980s and was jailed at Norwich Crown Court in 2007.

A former Dereham Scout master who was jailed for six years for abusing young boys is being sued for damages by one of his victims.

Roy Mercer, 64, admitted 31 sexual offences against three boys - aged 11-16 at the time - over a 30-year period between the 1950s and 1980s and was jailed at Norwich Crown Court in 2007.

One of the victims - now aged 43 and living in the Bristol area - has issued a High Court writ and is seeking damages from Mercer, who lived at Stone Road, Toftwood, and the Scout Association. The claim is for up to £100,000.

The victim says the Scout Association is “vicariously liable” for the sexual abuse and assaults, and for the resulting injury and damage he suffered when he was a member of the 2nd Dereham (Toftwood) Scout troop.

The writ claims that Mercer - who is serving his sentence at Littlehey Prison in Cambridgeshire - inflicted more sexual abuse and assaults on him than those for which he was jailed.

The man suffered humiliation, shame, guilt, and psychiatric problems as a result of Mercer's actions, and now suffers from emotionally unstable personality disorder.

According to the writ - issued by London solicitors Bolt Burdon Kemp - Mercer sexually abused him on many occasions and tried to rape him.

The victim's solicitor Jonathan Wheeler said the Scout Association had indicated it would be defending the claim.

If the case goes to trial it is likely to be several months before it is held.

The Scout Association did not want to comment on the writ.

Mercer was also a youth football coach, football referee, a leading figure in Dereham Band and was seen as a pillar of the community.

As he jailed him in 2007, Judge Paul Downes said Mercer had “taken advantage of his position” and breached the trust put in him by parents.

“You were a Scout leader in an organisation which has many admirable qualities and you have disgraced those who work in the Scouts.”

The court heard at the time that Mercer had groomed the boys and sexual offences happened at various places including Scout camps and Mercer's own home.

He knew he was trusted by the boys' parents and that gave him power over the boys.

His defence barrister told the court at the time that he had “done much good” in the community and felt “a burning sense of shame.”

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Dereham Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists