A DISGRACED former cub scout master who molested four young boys has been jailed for five years.

Ian Beeby, aged 62, preyed on youngsters in the north of England during the mid-1980s.

A trusted figure at that time, he told one victim: ""It is the sort of thing that scouts do."

After the law finally caught up with Beeby, he admitted 16 crimes against boys aged eight to 10.

These included seven indecent assaults and six indecency offences.

Beeby was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court.

Judge Peter Davies told Beeby, of Edditch Grove, Bolton, he had "victimised and assaulted" the four young boys.

Prosecutor Tim Evans referred to one victim's description of the historic abuse.

Mr Evans said: "He says he felt powerless, because of his age, to do anything about it."

Referring to another victim's account, Mr Evans added: "While he was not forced or threatened by Beeby to do this, in effect he didn't know any different.

"He just went along with it because that is what he was being told to do."

The court heard Beeby received prison sentences in both 1988 and 1993 for previous indecent assaults.

The latter was a two-year custodial term imposed at Bolton Crown Court.

Kimberley Morton, defending, said Beeby had been "shocked by the impact of his behaviour".

She said: "He recognises now, having read the statements of the complainants, the effects this type of offending has on people particularly when they become adults and have children themselves."

Beeby had never married, the court heard, and now risked having his home repossessed having lost his job.

Judge Davies told Beeby that immediate custody was the only sentence he could impose.

He said: "There was a severe breach of trust, planning and grooming of young boys, and a severe impact upon them.

"I am told told you are 'shocked' by the impact you have caused them — I am surprised you are shocked."

Beeby must abide by the strict terms of a sexual harm prevention order.

He was also made subject to the sex offender notification requirements for an indefinite period, and told he would be barred from working with children.