Judge allows paedophile who told young boys to strip naked to go on Center Parcs holiday as long as he doesn’t ‘misbehave’ (Copied from Mail Online)

Copied from Mail Online (21/08/2012)

  • Ex-Scoutmaster Stephen Daniell encouraged kids to ‘get naked’ and perform bizarre forfeits during Snowdonia camping trip
  • Judge tells him he was ‘presumptuous’ in booking holiday at child-friendly Center Parcs but lets him go anyway
  • Daniell told not to chat to children after promising his trip wouldn’t coincide with school holidays
  • Center Parcs bosses cancel booking, insisting safety of children is paramount
  • Remains on bail while facing sentencing for six counts of indecency with a child

A paedophile who admitted encouraging young boys to strip naked and perform bizarre forfeits on camping trips has been allowed to go on holiday to Center Parcs while on bail.

Ex-Scoutmaster Stephen Daniell, 48, was granted permission by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court to visit the child-friendly holiday resort as long as he didn’t ‘misbehave’.

The controversial decision was made by Judge Charles Byers after Daniell, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, pleaded guilty today to six offences of indecency with a child.

Horrified bosses at the Elveden Forest resort in Suffolk responded tonight by cancelling the booking, insisting the welfare and safety of guests, particularly children, was ‘paramount’.

Daniell had asked the judge whether his bail condition of residence could be relaxed to enable him to go on a pre-booked trip from September 3 to 7.

Remarking that Daniell had been ‘presumptuous’ in booking a holiday when he was facing a possible trial, Judge Byers added that he was “not very happy” and asked defence counsel Alan Walmsley: ‘What’s he doing at Center Parcs and who is he going with?’

After conferring with Daniell at the back of the court, Mr Walmsley said he was going with his wife and that the holiday dates ‘were out of the school holidays’.

Judge Byers, who commented that he had not himself been to Center Parcs, then granted Daniell permission.

Imposing an extra bail condition that he does not have direct or indirect contact with a child under 16, Judge Byers said: ‘There will be no walking up to anybody and suggesting a little chat.’

He also questioned whether Daniell’s wife was aware of the court proceedings. It was confirmed that she was.

Daniell, who works as a window cleaner, had been due to go on trial today for eight offences of indecency with a child but pleaded guilty before it started to six of the charges.

The remaining two were ordered to be left on file.

Prosecutor Lucy Luttman said Daniell, who has a caution for indecent exposure, met the boys through a conservation group and the offences occurred during trips to Snowdonia National Park in Wales.

Miss Luttman said Daniell would encourage them to “get naked” and play forfeit games.

She said: ‘One was made to skirt between the layers of the tent, which was wet with condensation, and another had to remove keys from the top of a tent using his feet.’

Adjourning sentence for probation reports, Judge Byers told Daniell he had not yet ‘made up his mind’ as to his fate.

‘I would like to know what other avenues may be open to me of a constructive nature,’ he added.

Center Parcs confirmed tonight that Daniell would not be welcome and that staff had no knowledge he was facing sex crime charges when the booking was made.

A spokesperson said: ‘The welfare and safety of our guests, particularly children, is paramount and therefore we must act in their best interest.

‘We feel it is only right to cancel this booking and have done so.’

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