Ex-Hastings councillor charged with 28 child sex offences

Matthew Lock after being elected to serve St Helens ward at Hastings Borough Council in 2014

Matthew Lock after being elected to serve St Helens ward at Hastings Borough Council in 2014

A former Hastings councillor and ex-Scout leader in Battle has been charged with 28 child sexual offences.

Matthew Lock, of Ore Place, was remanded in custody after appearing in court over a string of sexual offences on Monday (August 15).

The unemployed 38-year-old man faces 22 counts of attempting to incite young boys between 13 and 15 into sexual activity on-line, three offences of making indecent images of children and three counts of distributing indecent images of children.

The attempted incitement offences are alleged to have taken place between 2010 and 2013, on line, involving two separate boys who are not from Sussex and are not known to each other with no local safeguarding issues.

The indecent images offences are alleged to have taken place between 2006 and 2013.

Lock was charged on Sunday (August 14) and appeared in custody at Brighton Magistrates Court on Monday.

The former Hastings Borough Council member was remanded in custody for trial at Lewes Crown Court with an initial hearing on September 12.

It was revealed in June, 2015, the ex-1st Battle Scout leader was on bail after being arrested on suspicion of grooming and inciting a 15-year-old boy to engage in online sexual activity in November, 2014.

Last month the Observer revealed Lock faced further allegations of possessing and distributing indecent images of the boy plus grooming and inciting online sexual activity with another teenage boy.

The former St Helens ward representative resigned from the council on May 19, 2015, citing ‘personal problems’ and ‘ill health’.

But the ex-Conservative group leader had been on police bail for seven months after being arrested on November 24, 2014.

Lock was suspended by the Scout Association ‘as soon as it was made aware’ of the arrest in November, 2014.

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