A PERVERTED scoutmaster who tied up young boys to fuel his sexual lust has been ordered to shell out thousands of pounds and told to keep his hands to himself - or risk jail.
Wilberfoss farmer Steven Etherington, 44, has been ordered to pay £3,500 and attend a sex offenders’ treatment programme where he must express remorse or he could end up behind bars.
The Post exclusively reported last month that Etherington had been described at Hull Crown Court as the “Peter Pan of Stamford Bridge”, ordering a boy scout to strip to his boxers before slapping him on the bottom with a wet tea towel as a punishment.
In a separate incident he tent pegged a boy to the ground in a star shape with his legs at a 45 degree angle. He then sat astride him in an effort to teach him to resist tickling.
The bachelor appeared at Hull Crown Court on Monday after being convicted in a trial of two charges of sexual assault on boys under 13.
Judge Simon Jack told Steven Etherington his lack of sympathy for his victims would need to change as he sentenced him.
Judge Simon Jack said: “You abused your standing with these children for your own sexual gratification. I know you don’t accept that, but it was the finding of the jury and I accept that.”
Judge Jack imposed a community order after hearing a plea for leniency. He said rules dictating how long a sentence must be, before he could qualify for treatment, limited his sentencing options.
“The guideline for offences of this kind is a starting point of six months.”
He said he was initially considering a suspended prison sentence, but to qualify for treatment he needed to be given a three-year community order.
The judge said: “For you to qualify for this programme you need to accept you have a problem. You do not accept there was any sexual element to the offending.” Etherington’s behaviour set alarm bells ringing when parents of the boys found out and police were called in to investigate his scouting role. Other boys came forward with stories of his trust rituals, which involved blindfolds.
His 20-year career as a boy scout leader, who helped train others, is now in ruins. He has since burnt his uniform.
Hull Crown Court heard the separate incidents occurred when Etherington was alone with the boys and not at scout meetings. His defence barrister Mark Bury told the latest hearing he had referred to him as a Peter Pan-like figure in Stamford Bridge, but that was unfortunate in the light of him being found guilty.
He said: “He is not a devious person. He is emotionally child like. He does not pose a serious risk of sexual harm. He was volunteering. He knows that will be lost to him now.
“He will never have the opportunity of committing offences like this again.”
Judge Jack added: “If he fails to take part in the treatment and continues to be in denial. He could be brought back to court for re-sentence. My view is this case merits a prison sentence.”
He ordered he should sign on the Sex Offenders Register for five years, and banned him from working with children.