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Hampstead scout leader found dead after arrest over child pornography images

14:36 26 June 2014

Archant

A well-respected and decorated leader of a Primrose Hill scouting group was found dead in his home by police on Saturday, eight weeks after being arrested on suspicion of downloading indecent photos of children.

Nick Dewdney, 50, was leader of the 12th Hampstead scouts at St Paul’s CofE Primary School in Elsworthy Road for over 20 years.

Described by parents as an “enthusiastic, charismatic, energetic and committed” leader of the scouting community, the mobile communications consultant instructed scouts as young as eight.

He also worked for 12 years in Police Information Technology and was deputy county commissioner for Greater London North Scouts.

Just weeks after receiving a Silver Acorn award to mark his lengthy and “specially distinguished service” to the scouts, he left citing “personal reasons”.

It has since been revealed his departure was actually the result of being suspended by The Scout Association after his arrest in April when he was suspected of downloading indecent images of children.

He was released on bail pending further enquiries and was due to return in November.

On Saturday, police were called to his home in Eagle Drive following concerns over his safety.

After forcing entry into the property, officcers discovered his body.

His death is not being treated as suspicious and, having never been formally charged, it is not known whether the investigation into the allegations made against him will continue.

Tributes to Mr Dewdney from scouts and other leaders were made online as news of his death spread.

A post appearing on the 17th Holborn Scouts and Guides at Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Facebook page said: “It is with regret and much sadness that I have to inform you that Nick Dewdney was found dead at his flat on Saturday.

“The full circumstances are not yet clear.

“Nick was our Deputy County Commissioner and a good friend of the 17th Holborn.

“Our condolences to his family and other friends.

“Rest in peace, Nick.”

One added: “This is terribly sad. My thoughts and prayers are with Nick’s family and friends.”

Another said: “A good man. Helped me achieve my wood badge. RIP Nick.”

A spokesman from The Scout Association said: “The Scout Association has co-operated fully with the statutory agencies.

“At the time of Dewdney’s death he was suspended from the Scout Movement.

“The Scout Association carries out stringent vetting of all adults who work with young people and requires them to work to a strict code of practice outlined in the “Young People First” Code of Practice.”

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