Ex-Hastings councillor and former Battle Scout leader pleads guilty to string of child sexual offences

Matthew J Lock at the Hastings Borough Council elections in 2014. SUS-140523-035802001
Matthew J Lock at the Hastings Borough Council elections in 2014. SUS-140523-035802001

A former Hastings councillor and ex-Scout leader in Battle has pleaded guilty to a string of sexual offences.

Matthew J Lock, 38. unemployed, of Ore Place, admitted 19 charges in total at a hearing at Lewes Crown Court.

A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Lock pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent photographs of a child, one count of distributing indecent photographs of a child, two charges of distributing/showing indecent photographs of a child or children, two counts of attempting to intentionally incite a child to engage in sexual activity, 10 counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, and one charge of attempting to incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

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

The indecent images offences happened between 2006 and 2013.

Lock was remanded in custody last month after appearing in court at an earlier hearing.

He was due to face trial at Lewes Crown Court this month but the CPS spokeswoman said today (Monday, September 19) that Lock pleaded guilty to the 19 charges at a hearing on September 8.

The former St Helen’s 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 six months after being arrested on November 24, 2014.

Lock, an ex-1st Battle Scout leader, was suspended by the Scout Association as soon as it was ‘made aware’ of the arrest in November 2014, according to a spokesman.

Lock is due to be sentenced on November 25, the CPS said today.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/ 2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hastingsobserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @HastingsObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Hastings Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.