A FORMER parish council chairman and Scout worker from East Yorkshire has been jailed for seven years for sexually abusing two teenage boys.
Christopher Worrall, 46, was chairman of Holme-on-Spalding Moor parish council and a household name in his community, a court was told.
But while in a state of flux and turmoil with regard to his sexuality after coming out as gay, he groomed his victims on the internet.
One tried to commit suicide after meeting him.
At an earlier hearing at Maidstone Crown Court last month, Worrall, of Chapel Fields, Holme-on- Spalding Moor, admitted engaging in sexual activity with both boys between June 17 and October 2, 2012, and sexually grooming them.
He pleaded not guilty to four other charges of sexual activity with a child concerning the two boys and those charges were not proceeded with. He received consecutive sentences yesterday of three-and-a half-years for each offence of having sexual activity, with a concurrent sentence of 27 months for two offences of grooming them.
Judge Martin Joy told him he was of previous good character and had been an outstanding member of his local community but there had been a “devastating psychological impact” in relation to both his victims and there had been “deliberate and calculated grooming.”
Worrall’s counsel, Mary Jacobson, said: “He was in a state of flux and turmoil with regard to his sexuality. He was a man in his 40s coming to terms with something late in life.
“He is in a stable relationship and has a very loyal partner. That partner is standing by him. But his downfall is complete and absolute.”
The court was told that he had made contact with boys on Facebook and various other sites.
Prosecuting counsel Bridget Todd said the sexual offences happened with one boy at Worrall’s home and at a Kent hotel with the other.
One boy said later that he had lost confidence and suffered from poor self-esteem, flashbacks, anxiety and paranoia.
The mother of the other boy gave a statement saying her son had previously been “happy, contented and full of life” but after meeting Worrall he began drinking, got into trouble with the police and tried to kill himself.
The judge imposed a sexual offences prevention order and ordered that Worrall’s name should appear on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
The clerk to Holme parish council, Steve Young, declined to comment and said he had advised the current chairman to do the same.