Headmaster jailed for sexual offences against school children - Farnham Royal

06/02/2014

A man appeared at Amersham Crown Court today, Thursday, 06 February 2014, and was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for sexual offences against children at a school Farnham Royal.

Roland Peter Wright, aged 83, of Crown Lane, Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire, will also remain on the sex offenders' register for life.

He was unanimously found guilty of 12 counts of sexual assault by a jury on 17 December last year, following a re-trial, which started on 13 November.

Wright faced ten counts of indecent assault on a male and two of indecency with a child between 1959 and 1970.

The offences were committed while Wright was working as a teacher and later headmaster at Caldicott Boys' Preparatory School in Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire.

The five victims were pupils at the school for boys aged between eight and 13.

There had been reporting restrictions imposed on a number of previous court hearings connected to Wright's trial, but these restrictions were lifted at the end of Wright's trial.

Wright was found not guilty of three other offences at the first trial.

Other defendants concerned with the same investigation are:

Hugh Henry, aged 82, of Pomeroy Close, Amersham, who was also due to be sentenced at the same court today, after he previously pleaded guilty to 11 counts of indecent assault, and two counts of gross indecency with a child.

However, Henry died after being struck by a train close to Amersham London Underground station on Tuesday, 04 February. The incident is being investigated by British Transport Police and Henry's next of kin have been informed.

Henry carried out the offences against pupils at Caldicott Boys' Preparatory School, while he was working as a teacher at the school.

John Addrison, aged 54, of Datchet Road, Slough, who pleaded guilty to 11 counts of indecent assault on a male and two counts of indecency with a child.  He was sentenced to five years' imprisonment at Aylesbury Crown Court in November 2012.  He will also to remain on the sex offenders' register for life.

David Geddes, aged 71, of Upper Wield, Hampshire, who was acquitted by a jury at a re-trial in March last year, after being charged with four counts of indecent assault on male.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case marks the end of a series of prosecutions of four teaching staff accused of the serious sexual abuse of a number of children at a school in Buckinghamshire committed over a period of a decade. The position of trust held by these men, the young age of the victims and their vulnerability at the time of the abuse greatly increases the seriousness of these already grave offences.

"It is only due to the great courage and persistence of the victims and those affected by the abuse that the despicable behaviour of these teachers at the school has been exposed. I would like to pay tribute to the victims and witnesses in this case for their strength and tenacity in coming forward and giving evidence on matters which must still have been extremely distressing years after the events took place.

"Today's sentence serves as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these that they should come forward regardless of when the offence occurred because time is not a barrier to justice. The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with Thames Valley Police in this investigation, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.

"The emotional impact on the victims of these teachers is impossible to quantify. I hope that the convictions and sentences gives some small comfort to the victims involved. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Joe Banfield, of the Force Child Abuse Investigation Unit said: "Undoubtedly it was in public interest to jointly pursue this investigation alongside our partners, the Crown Prosecution Service.

"I am delighted with the sentence imposed upon Roland Wright at court today. He has been held to account for his actions and will now have time to reflect on the lasting damage to his victims.

"I hope that the victims, who suffered at the hands of these sexual predators during their childhoods, now have some justice.

"This result would not have occurred without the support of the victims and witnesses, who bravely gave evidence and provided statements. Many of the victims and witnesses had to travel long distances to court, in some cases from different continents, in order to see justice served.

"I would also like to thank staff at Caldicott Boys' Preparatory School for their continued support to Thames Valley Police whilst it investigated these claims. The investigation would not have succeeded without their assistance.

"This conviction demonstrates that Thames Valley Police take all allegations of sexual offences seriously. I hope this investigation will encourage other victims of sexual abuse to contact the Force. You can contact the Thames Valley Police by calling 101. Alternatively, if you don't want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."