Stephen Daniell's trip to Center Parcs was cancelled by the resort
by Keith Hunt
A judge who allowed a paedophile to go on holiday to Center Parcs while on bail has backed the family resort's decision to cancel the trip.
Former scoutmaster Stephen Daniell was granted conditional bail last month, pending sentence for six admitted offences of indecency with a child.
Judge Charles Byers was taken by surprise, saying he was "not very happy", when told the 48-year-old window cleaner had a pre-booked trip to Elveden Forest in Suffolk with his wife from September 3 to 7.
Daniell, he said, had been "presumptious" in booking the holiday when he was facing a possible trial, but allowed him to take the holiday on condition he had no contact with a child under 16.
"There will be no walking up to anybody and suggesting a little chat," he warned.
However, Center Parcs cancelled the holiday after being made aware of the offences by a national newspaper.
When the case returned to Maidstone Crown Court for a "mention", Judge Byers said: "The strange thing is he had booked this holiday before I ever came into this matter.
"If it had not been for my intervention in seeking to tighten up his bail conditions, nobody would ever have known he was going to Center Parcs and he would have arrived there on that day.
"The upshot is Center Parcs then hear about it. It was right away and they took appropriate action. I say nothing about the way it was put in the popular press."
Judge Byers, pictured above, added: "I think Center Parcs have been very sensible. I am pleased to see they have done what they did."
A condition of residence would remain, he said, and Daniell would have to apply to the court if he wished to change his address.
Daniell, of Albion Road, Tunbridge Wells, entered the guilty pleas shortly before he was due to go on trial. Two other charges of indecency with a child were left on the court file.
Daniell admitted child sex offences at Maidstone Crown Court
Lucy Luttman, prosecuting, said Daniell, who has a caution for indecent exposure, met the boys through a conservation group.
The offences were committed during trips to Snowdonia National Park, in Wales, when he would encourage the boys to "get naked" and play forfeit games.
"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," said Miss Luttman.
Sentence was adjourned for probation reports.