David Fearnley a former Scoutmaster from Northwich fails to get prison sentence reduced

A former teacher and Scout leader, jailed after two men revealed a catalogue of terrible child sex crimes over three decades, was this week told he deserves every day of his prison sentence. David Fearnley, 61, of Northwich, was jailed for nine years and two months at Warrington Crown Court last July for 27 offences involving children and child pornography. He appealed this week but top judges Lady Justice Sharp, Mr Justice Sweeney and Judge Stephen Kramer QC dismissed his complaints in London, saying the sentence was fully justified. Mr Justice Sweeney told the court that Fearnley's offending came to light many years after it began when he was a Scoutmaster in his 30s. Over a period of time, he groomed a boy of 13-15 years of age for sexual activity, touching his private parts while play-fighting and exposing himself. Another victim told of horrific abuse which took place 20 years later, by which time Fearnley, of Lime venue, had become a respected school teacher at The Grange omprehensive in Runcorn. gain, The groomed the youngster when he was aged between 12 and 15 and conned him into thinking what they were doing was normal. On frequent occasions, he had oral and full sex with the boy. “Both victims have suffered long-lasting harm as a result of the appellant's offences against them,” said the judge. When police finally came to know about the abuse, they arrested him and found images of child abuse on his computer equipment. Lawyers for Fearnley argued that the sentence was too long, but saw their case rejected by the judges. Mr Justice Sweeney continued: “Both sets of offences involved determined grooming and a very substantial age gap. “The overall sentence imposed was well within the appropriate range, albeit high up in it. “In those circumstances, it seems to us that there is no arguable merit in the grounds advanced.” he appeal was dismissed. Fearnley had admitted seven child porn offences and numerous indecent assaults. Verisona Law has specific experience in dealing with claims in respect of abuse committed by teachers and scoutmasters. If you were subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.


Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

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