A SCOUT leader has admitted sending images of children to fellow on-line paedophiles.

Andrew Hadwin, who turns 27 today, stored more than 2,000 indecent photographs of children and shared images with fellow members of an Internet group called Boylovers, Oxford Crown Court was told yesterday.

The Scout Association has withdrawn his membership and said the Oxfordshire-based leader would never work with the organisation again.

Hadwin was due to stand trial after denying 36 allegations of possession, distributing and making indecent photographs of children.

But yesterday he changed his plea and admitted seven counts of distributing indecent photographs and one count of possessing 2,724 images of children and 105 videos.

Judge Mary Jane Mowat adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports, but warned Hadwin he faced a jail sentence.
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Hadwin will be dismissed as a prison officer at Bullingdon, near Bicester.

Prosecuting, Peter Coombe, told the court the Crown Prosecution Service accepted the change of plea and the other 28 counts would be deleted.
Guilty: Andrew Hadwin
Guilty: Andrew Hadwin

He said: "These pleas are sufficient in the Crown's view. The defendant was a member of a (on-line) group called Boylovers. There is a background of emails, requests and offers about accepting images."

Hadwin, of Gibbs Crescent, Oxford, spoke only to confirm his guilty pleas.

The eight-count indictment read to Hadwin showed he distributed 28 indecent photographs of children and one video through emails and via a website between January and June 2005.

Eight of the images were level four photographs, which are in the second most serious category One of the videos and nine of the pictures were at the most serious level.

Jennifer Edwards, defending, said: "He knows the consequences of his change of plea and in the fullness of time I hope to persuade you (Judge Mowat) that gives him some remaining credit. He doesn't expect to be doing some work in the community."

Hadwin was released on bail until April 16 and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register.

A spokesman for Bullingdon Prison said Hadwin was suspended from his job when he was charged and would be dismissed.

Scout movement spokesman Simon Carter said: "Good Scouting depends on the trust between leaders, young people and parents.

"This man has broken that trust and we condemn his actions. There is no way he will ever work with the Scout movement again."

Det Con Steve Clarke said: "This investigation has taken a long time and we worked closely with the High Tech Crime Unit to build our case. We're pleased he has now pleaded guilty."