A FORMER scout leader who was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage girl in the late 1990s has been sent to prison for three years after the case was referred to the Court of Appeal.

David Oliver, 51, of Coombe Gardens in Bournemouth, had originally been given a sentence in May of two years’ imprisonment suspended for two years for the crimes he committed when he was aged 32.

Following a five-day trial at Bournemouth Crown Court Oliver was convicted of six counts of indecent assault.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP then referred the case to the Court of Appeal under the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

Oliver was handed the prison sentence last week.

The earlier hearing was told that in the summer of 1998 Oliver, a scout leader at the time, attended the same camp at Butchers Coppice in Bournemouth as the victim, who was aged under 16 at the time.

Over the course of the summer, Oliver took steps to ensure he could be alone with the girl so that he could kiss and touch her.

On one occasion, she was assaulted in Oliver’s car on the way to a camp in the New Forest.

Oliver told the victim she was special and encouraged her to keep their relationship a secret in case they got into trouble. It was only years later the victim felt able to report the crime to the police.

Following the Court of Appeal hearing, the Solicitor General said: “This is a particularly sad case where the offender abused his position of trust - he had no thought for the lasting impact his actions will have on the victim.

“I welcome the decision of the Court, and hope the increased sentence sends a strong message that such crimes will not be tolerated.”

Back in May, a spokesperson from the Scout Association told the Echo: “The Scout Association has co-operated with the statutory agencies during this investigation and it is appropriate that he is being punished for his crimes.

“We can confirm that he will never again be allowed to work within the Scout movement.

“The Scout Association carries out stringent vetting of all adults who work with young people and requires them to work to a strict code of practice outlined in the ‘Young People First’ code of practice.”

Detective Constable Jo Shewbridge, of Dorset Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Team, also said: “Oliver used and abused his position of trust in the Scouting movement to sexually assault his young victim.

“I wish to praise the bravery of his victim to come forward and report the offences. "