Red Hill and Muntham House

Red Hill School was a special boarding school in Maidstone, Kent. It was where Peter Righton started his career in 1957 and where he went on to sexually abuse a number of vulnerable young boys. This was reported in the BBC Inside Story documentary, The Secret Life of a Paedophile. Peter Howarth also worked there, and was later jailed for child sex offences that took place at the Bryn Estyn home in Wrexham.

A recently discovered news report shows that a convicted child sex offender worked as a helper at Red Hill School in 1978/79. James Russell applied for the job using the false name of James Stewart, and lied about his background to disguise his criminal record. He had “three convictions for offences against young boys, and had spent most of the last eight years in jail”.

Two friends gave him references, and were both fined £200 after admitting “helping Russell by not disclosing his name and mis-stating his character”. One of the friends was Nicholas Douglass of Muntham House School.

Muntham House was a special boarding school 50 miles away from Maidstone in Horsham, West Sussex. In 1998, Nicholas Douglass was jailed for 16 years for his part in a paedophile ring that abused young boys at Muntham House in the late 1970s. (The Argus 25.08.98)

News of the World, 1st July 1979


  1. Troyhand said:
    The Mirror (London, England) > July 25, 1998
    Sir in child sex terror

    A PAEDOPHILE ring was smashed yesterday when a teacher and two pals were convicted of abusing 18 boys over eight years.

    Nicholas Douglass, 45, a housemaster at a school for vulnerable lads, would ply pupils with treats then drag them to his flat or the grounds and abuse them.

    He invited pals John Higgins and Thomas Logan, both 45, to take their pick of boys aged nine to 15. The men would strip them, then photograph and assault them.

    The abuse was only discovered when one victim walked into a police station saying he was suicidal because of his ordeal at the West Sussex school.

    One victim, now 26, said: “You were like a lamb to the slaughter.”

    Douglass, of Easebourne, told Lewes Crown Court: “I am a paedophile. I am attracted to children.”

    The men were held in custody for sentencing.

    [I’m not sure if the heading is supposed to say ‘Six in child sex terror.’ Although 18 boys were abuse, and only 3 men are mentioned to be arrested. If it’s meant to say Sir, then who’s the Sir?]

    • cassandracogno said:

      The sir I think refers to Douglass being a housemaster/teacher who would have been addressed by the boys as ‘sir’ in the classroom – British school thing.

  2. Troyhand said:
    The Birmingham Post (England) > March 1, 2000
    Schoolmaster is jailed for assault

    A former teacher at a public school was jailed yesterday for sexually assaulting male pupils.

    Dennis Fletcher (50), of Birchington, Kent, who taught French at Junior King’s prep school in Canterbury, was sentenced by Judge Hamilton to three years at Maidstone Crown Court.

    Fletcher, who admitted seven counts of sexually assaulting children under 16 and making an indecent video, will be placed on the national sex offenders’ register.

    Det Con Nick Symons, who led the investigation following a complaint made in 1998, said: “This was somebody who was in a position of trust in a boarding school. There was a lot of trust in him and he abused that.”

    The Kent Police special investigations unit, joined by Kent social services, launched an inquiry into Fletcher after a former pupil made an allegation of sexual assault in November 1998.

    During the year-long inquiry, officers interviewed hundreds of Fletcher’s pupils and former pupils, finally bringing 11 charges of indecent assault dating back to 1987.

    Fletcher, who was suspended from Junior King’s – the prep school attached to King’s School – at the start of the inquiry, was eventually sacked.

    At Maidstone Crown Court on February 8, Fletcher admitted seven offences of indecent assault on children under 16 and to making the indecent video of one of his former pupils.

    Four charges of indecent assault were left on the file.

    No one at the prestigious Junior King’s was available for comment.

  3. Troyhand said:
    Anger as evil former Catholic priest Malcolm McLennan spared jail for molesting altar boy

    [PIC: Former Priest Malcolm NcLennan & Judge Jeremy Carey]

    A former Catholic priest who molested an altar boy at a Medway church more than 20 years ago has today avoided a jail sentence.

    Malcolm McLennan admitted molesting the boy, who is now in his late-30s, when he appeared before Medway magistrates last month.

    The 69-year-old was handed a three-year community order at Maidstone Crown Court today.

    After the sentence, the victim said: “I am devastated. Justice has not been served.”

    McLennan admitted indecent assault over the acts he committed while an assistant priest at ****St Simon Stock Church, in Bleakwood Road, Walderslade, back in 1989.****

    The court heard how McLennan would rub himself up against the victim or give him a cuddle when the boy was changing into his robes while helping at services.

    One day, he put his hands down the youngster’s underpants and started to touch him.

    He reported the matter and was visited by a bishop the following week, who dismissed his allegations by saying: “We’ll have no more of your silly talk.”

    After reporting the incident to police in the wake of the Jimmy Saville scandal, the victim learned McLennan had previously indecently assaulted three church boys – with the youngest believed to be five – ****while working in Tunbridge Wells in the mid-1980s.****

    The court heard how in 2009 he was jailed for 18 months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years for these offences.

    The court also heard he had convictions for gross indecency dating back to 1973, 1977 and 1989 involving offences in public toilets with men, but has since turned his life around.

    The former alcoholic began to change when he started attending Alcohol Anonymous meetings, the court heard.

    Andrew Espley, defending, said McLennan now works as an infirmary assistant looking after ill monks at an Abbey in Gloucestershire, where he has no contact with children.

    But his abuse has left a mark on his victim. He is said to have lost his faith and he refuses to let his children play outdoors out of fear.

    Speaking exclusively last month, the victim said he wanted the “predatory sex offender jailed”.

    McLennan – now of Teal Close, Quedgeley, in Gloucester – was instead sentenced to a 36-month community order, with supervision, and a requirement of attending a sex offender programme.

    Judge Jeremy Carey said the sentence was a “constructive alternative” to a prison sentence as McLennan had already served a minimum of nine months in 2009 for “strikingly similar sexual offences” and could therefore only sentence him to a few more months in prison.

    He told McLennan: “You have been punished as a sex offender. You have not committed further sexual offences for many years and I accept you have been leading a non-criminal life of a positive kind.”

  4. Troyhand said:
    The Child in Care, Volume 11 – 1971

    The Children’s Centre

    Some reference was recently made to the establishment of Britain’s first children’s centre under the auspices of the National Children’s Bureau and news has now come through that Peter Righton, who will be well known to readers of this journal, has been appointed head of the centre. Peter Righton was formerly a probation officer, subsequently worked as a teacher at Redhill school for maladjusted children, was tutor at Keele in charge of the child care courses and more recently has been lecturer in social work education at the National Institute for Social Work Training. The journal is delighted to congratulate him on his appointment and to say that we shall hope to have the opportunity to give publicity to the centre’s activities at regular intervals.

  5. Troyhand said:
    Perspectives on paedophilia
    Brian Taylor (Ph. D.)
    Batsford Academic and Educational, 1981

    [Page v]

    2. The adult – [Page] 24
    ***Peter Righton***, Director of Education, National Institute for Social Work

    3. The child – [Page] 41
    ***Morris Fraser***, Consultant Psychiatrist, University College Hospital, London

  6. Troyhand said:
    The Child in Care, Volume 12 – 1972

    [Page 22]
    Personal Services Council

    The secretary reported that he had received a request from the Department of Health and Social Security inviting the Association to nominate a person or persons, who need not necessarily be members of the Association for consideration by the Minister in the formation of the new Personal Services Council. This would be an independant statutory body with the responsibility of ***giving advice to Ministers*** on matters of overall policy in the same way that the Advisory Council for Child Care and others had done so in the past. It was quite separate and independent from the Training Council. The Executive Committee agreed that subject to the consent of the persons concerned the Association should put forward the names of ***Peter Righton,*** William Burgess and John Williams.

  7. Troyhand said:'s,+and+Peter+Righton,+director+of+social+work+education+at+the+National+Institute%22&dq=%22Barnardo's,+and+Peter+Righton,+director+of+social+work+education+at+the+National+Institute%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZqSCU-qJLsW3sATd-ICADA&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA
    SWT, Social Work Today, Volume 11, Issues 1-12
    British Assn. of Social Workers., 1979

    [Page 3-4]

    The £15,000 a year job to head the three year project is to be funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, an offshoot of the ***Sainsbury Foundation***. Its aims are to find out the training needs of staff working in residential centres for disturbed and delinquent young people; to determine how far staff training needs are being met at home and overseas; to design and assist in establishing a specialist course leading to a proper qualification; and to negotiate the recognition and acceptance of the course with statutory and voluntary bodies.

    Mrs Kahan will be working with a steering committee which includes G. Godfrey Isaacs, chairman of Peper Harow, Mary Joynson, director of child care at Barnardo’s, and ***Peter Righton***, director of social work education at the National Institute for Social Work. The chairman is Nicolas Stacey, director of Kent social services.

    Speaking at the association’s AGM in Southport, he said: “I believe that this Government is so shackled to its economic dogma that it does not give a damn about the human consequences.

    “Those ministers in the DHSS personify more than any others this intoxication with a blinkered economic policy and I challenge them to tell this association and the country what their social policy is. From the evidence I would say that they have none.”

    Mr Owens said that the days when everyone could expect the right to be regarded as a human being of intrinsic value and worth were rapidly disappearing. Changes in values as reflected in Government policy — the spirit of avarice and anger that characterise struggles for more wages and better health care — meant that the rich “come out on top and the poor go to the wall”.

    He questioned how, on moral grounds, say Government no matter what its political shade, could pursue a policy which disregarded the needs of a significant, though electorally weak, section of the society for which it is responsible.

  8. Troyhand said:

    [Same advertising as above in New Society]
    New Society, Volumes 47-48
    New Society Limited, 1979

    [Page 777]
    CLOSING DATE 20th APRIL 1979
    Residential treatment and care for disturbed young people

    up to £15,000 per annum

    A charitable trust is providing funds for a three-year research and development project to improve the quality, treatment skills and status of staff working in residential centres for exceptionally difficult children and adolescents

    A Director is being appointed to:
    • find out the training needs of staff working in residential centres for disturbed and delinquent young people
    • determine how far staff training needs are being met at home and overseas
    • design and assist in the established of a specialist course leading to a proper qualification
    • negotiate the recognition and acceptance of the course with statutory, voluntary and professional bodies.

    This challenging task will require the appointed person to ***negotiate at a high level with representatives of central and local government as well as with senior staff in academic institutions and the voluntary services***. Qualifications and/or experience in two of the following three disciplines will be an advantage – teaching, social work, psychology. It is hoped to bring all three disciplines together in the new training.

    The Director will be appointed by and responsible to a Steering Committee, which includes:

    G. Godfrey Isaacs (Chairman of Peper Harow – telephone number 01-686 8211)

    Miss Mary Joynson (Director of Child Care of Dr. Barnardo’s – telephone number 01-550 882)

    Miss Janet Mattinson (Tavistock Centre – telephone number 01-435 7111)

    John Rea Price (Director of Social Services for the London Borough of Islington – telephone number 01 -359 3535)

    ***Peter Righton*** (Director of Social Work Education. National Institute for Social Work – telephone number 01 -387 9681)

    Nicolas Stacey (Director of Social Services for Kent – telephone number Maidstone 55451.

    The appointment will be for three years and non-pensionable. The salary will be negotiable up to £15,000 per annum.

    For further information, telephone any member of the Steering Committee.

    For background paper and job specification write to Nicolas Stacey, Social Services Department, Springfield, Maidstone, Kent

  9. Troyhand said:
    New Society, Volumes 47-48
    New Society Limited, 1979

    [Page 512]
    Bringing planning, continuity and purpose to therapeutic living.

    A short study course sponsored by the Planned Environment Therapy Trust and the Association of Therapeutic Communities, intended for workers in residential and daycare in psychiatric, child-care, educational and rehabilitative fields to focus and share approaches and methods between different settings, Contributions from: Tom Caine, John Cross, Maxwell Jones, Peter Righton (Chairman) among others, plus work shops and groups.

    At the College of St. Matthias, Bristol, 24-27 July, 1979. Inclusive fee £60.

    Details from James Atherton (PETT). 4 Salisbury Road, Manchester M21 1SL.

%d bloggers like this: