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Fisherman subjects 1st Shadoxhurst Scout Group to 'torrent of vile abuse' at Conningbrook Lake

A Scout leader has praised his group for their “exemplary” behaviour after claiming they were subjected to a torrent of abuse by a fisherman.

Police are investigating the incident, which happened when around 20 young people from the 1st Shadoxhurst Scout Group were enjoying the second instalment of their six-week dinghy sailing course on Conningbrook Lake on Saturday.

One boat from the group was blown towards shore and got caught in a fisherman’s line but rather than assist the new sailors, Scout leader Brad Bradford says the fishermen exploded with a volley of insults and foul language.

Young people from 1st Shadoxhurst Scout Groups went sailing at Conningbrook Lakes
Young people from 1st Shadoxhurst Scout Groups went sailing at Conningbrook Lakes

He said: “Of seven Scouts aged between 10 and 14, he told five to **** off, gestured at a 10-year-old girl with his middle finger and called two others, including a 13 year-old-girl, a vile four letter word.

“None of my Scouts showed either fear or panic nor did they respond in kind, instead they apologised for their disruption.

“When I asked my girl Scout to whom the last comment had been made how she felt about the abuse, she uttered not one word of complaint.

“Instead she quietly replied, with the slightest air of disdain, ‘to be honest Brad, I am disappointed that a man would speak to me that way’.

“Her eloquent response was indicative of the manner in which my young people conducted themselves.

“In the face of rudeness and abuse they were courteous and polite and showed enormous courage and restraint throughout.”

After receiving funding from the Royal Yacht Association, the 1st Shadoxhurst Scout Group began a six-week sailing course to become level two junior dinghy sailors.

Members of 1st Shadoxhurst Scout Group
Members of 1st Shadoxhurst Scout Group

The group are due to qualify in June.

Mr Bradford, who is an Ashford borough councillor for Weald South ward, said: “Conningbrook Lakes has been a fantastic opportunity for the young people to get on the water and having that facility in Ashford is amazing.

“I do not want to put parents off visiting it because it is a fantastic facility.

“It was an isolated incident that has been dealt with and police are making their own inquiries.”

A police spokesman said: “We can confirm that an incident was reported to us and we are looking into the circumstances.”

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