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Retired teacher convicted of sexual assaults

|News, Sexual offences

A retired teacher has been convicted of a series of sexual assaults on boys at two schools, one in Sussex and one in Wiltshire, over a 20-year period.

Following two trials, Piers Le Cheminant was found guilty of indecent assaults on boys while he was a teacher at Oakwood Boarding School in Chichester and Salisbury Cathedral School between the late 1960s and early 1980s.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard that complaints had been made about him at the time at both schools and, on each occasion, he was asked to leave the school.

The complaints came to the attention of the police in 2018 and former pupils were sent standard letters, with a number of responses received, naming Le Cheminant as being responsible for sexual abuse.

He denied all the allegations when interviewed by the police, calling them “nonsense”.

Gareth Morgan from the CPS said: “Many of the victims had strikingly similar recollections of what had happened to them, with some abused during class in front of other pupils, while others were subjected to abuse after swimming or playing sport.

“The defendant was a popular teacher, which put some of his victims off sharing what had happened to them, as they did not want to get him into trouble, but Le Cheminant used that popularity and significant position of trust to foster a closeness with pupils that he then often used to facilitate his offending.

“This abuse has taken a terrible toll on the lives of the victims. One even refused to attend a planned school reunion many years later because of his experience at the hands of the defendant. Now Le Cheminant has finally been brought to justice for his actions.

“This case very clearly demonstrates that no matter how long-ago sexual abuse was committed, time is not a barrier, and victims can see justice done even after many years have passed.”

Notes to editors

  • Piers Le Cheminant [DOB: 01/08/1945] was convicted following a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court in February 2022 of eight counts of indecent assault on a male person. He was found not guilty of one charge of indecent assault. The Judge ruled that there was no case to answer on a further four charges of indecent assault.
  • At the first trial, the jury were unable to reach a verdict on three other charges of indecent assault and a re-trial took place in April 2023. Following the re-trial, Le Cheminant was convicted of the three counts of indecent assault on a male person. 
  • Sentencing will take place 16 June 2023. 
  • Gareth Morgan is a District Crown Prosecutor with CPS South East.

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