Teachers ‘abused boys at Osborne’s old school’ (25.03.14)

The Times, 25th March 2014

by Andrew Norfolk

At least six teachers at one of Britain’s most famous and successful public schools are suspected of sexually abusing boys as young as 10 over two decades.

The schoolmasters, all of whom taught at St Paul’s School or its junior division, Colet Court, are implicated in numerous alleged sexual assaults against pupils between the 1960s and the 1980s, an investigation by The Times has established.

One, a close friend of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, became a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), the pro-paedophilia pressure group that has been linked to senior Labour Party figures.

Alan Doggett, director of music at Colet Court, was allowed to resign after suspected serial abuse of a young pupil was exposed. He went on to teach at another leading institution, the City of London School, and became director of an acclaimed boys’ choir. He later committed suicide after being charged with indecently assaulting another boy.

An ex-pupil yesterday accused St Paul’s of exposing hundreds of boys to the risk of abuse by “hushing up” the offending that led to the teacher’s departure.

Dominic Grieve, QC, the Attorney General, was a Colet Court pupil when Doggett was asked to leave.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, also attended the prep school, which shares a 45-acre campus with St Paul’s in Barnes, southwest London. He attended the senior school in the 1980s. There is no suggestion that either was abused as a schoolboy.

On at least two more occasions in the 1960s and 1970s, St Paul’s is understood to have failed to contact police when concerns about masters’ inappropriate sexual conduct towards boys were raised by parents or members of staff. Former teachers at St Paul’s have been the subject of at least four child abuse investigations since the late 1970s. None was initiated by the school.

The most recent criminal case began last month into sexual offences allegedly committed by Patrick Marshall, 65, who taught geography and coached rowing at St Paul’s. He was arrested four weeks ago over the suspected abuse of a boy, aged 15, in the late 1970s. Police hope to speak to more ex-pupils as the inquiry continues.

Mr Marshall, who denies wrongdoing, has been released on bail. Police have previously investigated an unnamed St Paul’s teacher alleged to have abused a pupil in the 1980s. The suspect was arrested in 2000 and a file sent to the Crown Prosecution Service, which ruled there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.

Another inquiry was held in 2000 into a Colet Court teacher, Paul Topham, said to have committed offences against a boy in the late 1960s. He also was not prosecuted, and died in 2012 aged 80.

A former housemaster at the prep school, known as “Alex” Alexander, is today accused by a former pupil of serial indecent assaults during the same decade.

A sixth, unidentified teacher agreed to leave St Paul’s after a school cleaner found sado-masochistic pornography in his room, alongside a personal register of pupils subjected to private spanking sessions. Parents were told that he left for “family reasons”.

A seventh teacher, 70-year-old Keith Perry, St Paul’s “inspirational” former head of history, received a two-year suspended prison sentence last month after collecting hundreds of extreme images of naked boys.

The school at which he taught for 38 years was not named at Southwark Crown Court, where he admitted 17 offences of making and distributing child abuse images “over a substantial period of time”. In internet chat rooms, he wrote of being “obsessed” with boys as young as 8. It is not suggested that any of Perry’s crimes involved pupils at St Paul’s.

In a statement, St Paul’s stressed that none of the alleged abuse concerned staff or pupils currently at the school. It added that three of the alleged offenders were dead but called for living suspects to be “investigated and subjected to the proper processes of justice”.

“Any sexual abuse of children by an adult, and particularly by a teacher, is abhorrent, a serious violation of trust and an affront to the value of any caring community. The school deals quickly, sensitively and resolutely with any concerns or allegations of abuse. This commitment applies equally to allegations of historic abuse. Pupil welfare and safeguarding are our highest priority.”

Professor Mark Bailey, the school’s High Master, said he was “grateful to The Times for bringing these allegations to our attention”. He promised that St paul’s would co-operate fully with any investigation.

See also Ian Pace’s article on Alan Doggett

  1. Troyhand said:

    Daily Mail – 28 February 2011
    St Paul’s Cathedral School master sexually abused boys and created ‘atmosphere of latent homosexuality’

    A schoolmaster sexually abused pupils at a prestigious boarding school, a court heard today.

    Stephen Douglas-Hogg, 52, was jailed for four-and-a-half years in 2009 after admitting indecently assaulting five boys at St Paul’s Cathedral School for choirboys in the 1980s.

    Following his sentence in May 2009, a number of other former pupils came forward to say they had also suffered abuse from Douglas-Hogg, telling how he would inspect pupils at shower time and creep into their dormitories at night.

    They also claimed the schoolmaster involved his former colleague and partner Jane Violaris, 49, in creating an ‘atmosphere of intimidation and latent homosexuality’.

    The history and languages master, of Filey, North Yorks, sexually groomed his ‘favourites’ at St Paul’s Cathedral School where he taught during the 1980s.

    The court heard how he controlled the boys’ daily activities through fear, and supervised their bath times.

    One of the boys claimed he was raped by Douglas-Hogg when he was nine years old. Others described him as ‘schizophrenic’ and a ‘sexually misguided lunatic’.

    One victim said: ‘The behaviour of Mr Douglas-Hogg went on unnoticed by many people and he was pretty much able to act freely, almost like the school was his kingdom and we were pretty much powerless to do anything about it.’

    At Southwark Crown Court in 2009, Judge Michael Gledhill QC labelled Douglas-Hogg a ‘paedophile who used his authority to strike fear into his victims, who were too afraid to report what happened.

    The school sits next to the cathedral in central London, and has a small number of choristers boarding.

    Each boy is selected for his singing ability and remains at the school from the ages of seven to 13, singing daily in the cathedral choir, until their voices break. Places at the private school are highly prized among parents.

    Douglas-Hogg, who taught English, Latin and ancient history, and Violaris, a geography teacher, were the two live-in housemasters and had bedrooms on the top floor of the three-storey dormitory.

    Violaris was cleared last year on the direction of a judge at the Old Bailey.

    Douglas-Hogg was due to face a retrial on charges of sodomy and indecent assault, but prosecutor Emma Smith announced that the Crown would be offering no evidence on the indictment.

    She said there had been ‘significant evidential difficulties’ with two of the alleged victims and problems with a third.

    In the absence of those three witnesses the fourth complainant had decided not to give evidence.

    Miss Smith said: ‘The Crown took the view there was no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction.’

    The judge Mr Recorder Nigel Peters QC told Hogg: ‘That’s the end of this case Mr Douglas-Hogg. You can go back downstairs.’ Douglas-Hogg smiled as he walked slowly down the steps to the cells.

    The former choirmaster is now expected to be freed within months after completing the sentence he received after pleading guilty to 13 counts of indecent assault.

  2. Troyhand said:

    Telegraph – 06 Aug 2008
    St Paul’s teacher convicted of abusing two boys

    A schoolmaster who supervised baths and bedtimes at St Paul’s Cathedral choir school has been jailed for abusing two of his pupils.

    Anthony Reece, 55, molested choirboys in his care at the exclusive boarding school in the early 1980s, Southwark Crown Court was told.

    One of his victims said he had lost his childhood because of the abuse.

    The geography teacher pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two pupils under the age of ten but also has a previous conviction for molesting two other boys at the school.

    Sentencing him to fifteen months in prison Judge Geoffrey Rislin QC sitting as the Recorder of Westminster, said: “Over the years the regime of the school was a strict one. You held a powerful influence on the boys in your charge who were frightened of you.

    “Your offences had a lasting yet psychological impact on these children.”

    The court heard an impact statement from one of the victims who had been indecently assualted twice by Reece.

    It said: “Being indecently assaulted by Anthony Reece contributed to the loss of my childhood.

    “My life became tormented by fear, intimidation and bullying. That was the ethos of the school I was at.”

    The second victim did not make a statement but is understood to have made similar allegations about the atmosphere at the school.

    Regina Naughton, prosecuting, said: “The first victim describes an occasion when he was lying on his bed after having a bath. He had a towel over him and he was completely naked.

    “He described Mr Reece moving his legs like levers and staring down at him for 30 seconds.”

    She said Mr Reece groped one victim’s genitals in the bath and the second victim was also “washed particularly thoroughly in the genital area, more than was appropriate for a schoolteacher.”

    She said: “It was known by the boys that Mr Reece was touching pupils inappropriately.”

    Reece worked at the school from 1979 until he was dismissed in 1985 after a report of inappropriate behaviour towards a chorister.

    He was convicted in 2002 of indecently assaulting a boy at St Paul’s, which currently charges over £17,000 annual fees for boarders.

    The latest offences only came to light when Reece was asked to give a statement against another teacher at the school in the early 1980s who is due to stand trial in October.

    Reece, of Ely Close, Worcestershire, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.

  3. Troyhand said:

    Guardian – 28 February 2014
    Patricia Hewitt backed NCCL policy of lowering age of consent

    Exclusive: Former Labour cabinet minister defended cutting age to 14 and 10 in some circumstances in letter to teacher in 1976

    Former Labour cabinet minister Patricia Hewitt defended a proposal to lower the age of consent in the face of a school teacher’s accusation that she was seeking to “shatter prospective individual happiness at an early age”.

    The then general secretary of the National Council for Civil Liberties was writing in April 1976 in response to a letter from a teacher at St Paul’s boys’ school in London. He had accused the organisation of having “some very twisted minds” behind it.

  4. Note that St Paul’s Cathedral School is a different entity from St Paul’s School.

  5. Troyhand said:

    Thanks Ian. My bad. So the disgusted teacher, that Patricia Hewitt was responding to in her disgusting 1976 letter, was still someone from the same St. Paul’s London boys’ school that Alan Doggett and the other 5+ paedos worked in?

    • Yes, definitely she was – it would be interesting to know who that teacher was – he probably knew a bit about what was going on at his own school.

  6. Troyhand said:

    Richmond Times – 31st August 2007
    Paedophile jailed for a year

    Jonathan Button, of Christchurch Road, East Sheen, was handed a 12-month sentence at Kingston Crown Court on Friday after admitting at an earlier hearing 10 specimen counts of possessing indecent pictures of young boys.

    The move came after police were informed Button had made reference to “taking pictures” in letters written to jailed paedophile Trevor Watson under the pen name of Aunt Maude.

    More than 1,000 thumbnail images of children in “erotic poses” and 31 images of children engaging in indecent acts were found, despite the fact that Button, 51, was running software to automatically delete downloads.

    The court heard that Button had been previously convicted of importing child pornography in 1999. Later that year, he was jailed for 15 months after he admitted indecently assaulting boys in his flat whilst a science teacher at a private school in Berkshire during the 1980s.

    Ms Wass told the court that Button had been abused by his choirmaster while a pupil at Colet Court in Barnes – something which had “a huge effect on his future conduct”.

    She added that Button had written the letters “full of gay banter” to Watson because he was a “compassionate person knowing the difficulties a vulnerable person had in prison” and that the pictures referred to were holiday snaps taken in Cuba and did not show children.

    But Judge Matthews QC rejected the claim and said the letters “referred obliquely to photographs of children” and that they contained “coded language”. She said that Button had engaged in a “pattern of behaviour” and posed a “significant risk to the public”.

  7. Troyhand said:

    BBC News – 21 October 2008
    Rothschild “won’t back down”

    George Osborne was – until the past few days – a close friend of Mr Rothschild.

    The relationship dates back to their days at Oxford University, where both were members of the raucous, public-school Bullingdon Club.

    82. At 19:45 21st Oct 2008, icheyne wrote:
    Nat Rothschild and George Osborne go back further than University. They were both in the same year at prep school – Colet Court.

  8. Troyhand said:

    Daily Mail – 02 October 2000
    Public schools warned over child abusers

    THE leader of Britain’s top public schools today warned headteachers of the dangers posed by potential child abusers among their staff.

    In a wide-ranging speech to mark his retirement after a decade as secretary of the Head Masters’ Conference, former London head Vivian Anthony said he believed every school in the association could have staff who behave inappropriately towards children or bring pornography on to school premises.

    Speaking at the start of the HMC annual conference in Harrogate today, attended by the heads of Britain’s leading public schools, Mr Anthony admitted that the problem has always existed, even though in the past it was often not acknowledged.

    He praised the media for helping to ensure victims’ voices are now heard. He said: “We must be vigilant, ensuring that all those employed in our schools, including the head, have the best interests of all pupils at heart.

    “Society is right to expect teachers to set the highest personal standards and to take a dim view of those who engage in activities which appear to threaten this proper relationship with these pupils.

    “Such problems appeared not to exist in the past but were probably little better than today – it is just that now the victims speak out.”

    Last week the Evening Standard revealed that police are investigating child abuse allegations at St Paul’s School in Barnes after former pupil XXXXXX XXXXX, now 27, claimed he was sexually assaulted by a former master on school property.

    The alleged assaults took place in the Eighties but Mr XXXXX says he was too frightened to report the matter at the time and did not think he would be believed.

    The school has written to parents of former pupils to see if any others have similar allegations against the bachelor teacher who is no longer at the school. He has been traced by police, arrested and interviewed. He no longer works with children and has denied the allegation.

    In his speech, Mr Anthony also bemoaned the growing tendency to protect children from all risk, for example from certain sports or adventure activities.

    He said: “The danger is that we create a generation of softies driven to school and protected from the risk element in all activities. How long will it be before contact sports like rugby are banned?”

    He also said attempts to increase the number of state school pupils at the UK’s emerging Ivy League would backfire if bright students excluded because they had attended private school were lured to prestigious American universities.

  9. Troyhand said:

    Voxpop: Profiles of the Pop Process – 1972

    [Page 160]

    another musical, this is what we’re good at, we really must do something,’ and a friend of ours called Alan Doggett, who we still work with very closely today – a sort of freelance conductor/composer/orchestrator/music teacher and everything, and at that time he knew Andrew through Andrew’s brother, who was a pupil of his. Alan taught the cello or something. I’m not sure, and this is Andrew’s brother Julian, who is now making great strides as a classical cellist.

    And Alan asked us to write something for his kids’ end of term concert, and he said, ‘It can be about and he said, ‘It can be about anything you like, you know, it can be just something that the kids can sing which they’ll enjoy, lots of tunes,’ and we thought, ‘Oh well, we might as well.’

    It was a bit of a come-down after visions of Webber-Rice’s West End smash, but after much decision and what we would write on we thought of doing a James Bond set to music, but we decided that we would do a thing which would have appeal possibly beyond one school and we decided to go to the Bible and send up the story of Joseph and his coat of many colours, which is a great story, which we did.

    And it went down colossally well at the school concert and we asked along Novello’s, the educational publishers. At this time I was just starting with Norrie, and Andrew was still at the Royal College of Music, I think.

    And this went down fantastically well, the headmaster said, ‘This is the greatest thing since the college was founded,’ and all this jazz. And the

    [Page 161]

    And as a result of that Norrie Paramor and Decca said they’d like to, or Norrie said he’d like to record it — and in fact we’d already tried to interest Norrie in it beforehand, but again us playing it on the piano didn’t really get it over, but when you saw the whole thing performed by millions of kids, and again this was an accident, we hadn’t really meant the thing to be any more than a favour for Alan Doggett.

    The proper title was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dream Coat. We had a bit of a row with Technicolor about the use of their trade name! Decca recorded it, we made a record, we used Alan Doggett and we used his kids and we used session men, and we made a nice kiddies’ record, you know, which got very nice reviews, an album on Decca. It was my first dealing with the





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