Ex-Hailey Hall school teacher jailed for sex abuse

A teacher who sexually abused pupils at a Hertfordshire boarding school for boys with behavioural problems has been jailed for eight years.

Phillip Dyke, 62, of Ramsey, Cambs, abused boys over an eight-year period in the 1970s and 80s, at Hailey Hall, near Hertford.

St Albans Crown Court heard a victim went to police last year, which prompted others to come forward.

Dyke admitted charges including gross indecency and indecent assault.

'Lived near dormitory'

The court heard Hailey Hall had 60 boarding pupils aged 11 to 16, all of whom had emotional or behavioural problems and had been excluded or suspended from mainstream education.

Dyke lived in a flat off one of the school's three wings, would help control the dormitories and was in a position of "loco parentis".

The court heard the abuse came to light when one of Dyke's victims - now an adult - spoke of his past at a counselling session and decided to go to police.

He told officers Dyke had waited for him outside a shower and persuaded him to come to his flat dressed only in a towel, and abused him.

Dyke was arrested in February last year and denied the offences, but a briefcase taken from his loft contained photographs of Dyke and boys in their underpants.

'Filthy modus operandi'

Police located former boarders, one of whom said that, as a 12-year-old, he thought it was "cool" to go to a teacher's room to smoke and drink, but Dyke had "groomed" and abused him.

The court heard one victim, now in his 40s said: "At first you think it is natural.

"You think he is being nice and has got time for me, but it is just his filthy m.o. [modus operandi]"

Dyke, a married man from High Street, also admitted one charge of taking an indecent photograph.

Sentencing him on Thursday, Judge Martin Griffith, said: "You abused the trust placed in you by the school giving you accommodation near the dormitory.

"You told the writer of a probation report that when you visited the school you noticed naked young men in the showers and that attracted you to teach there.

"There were multiple victims and repeated assaults over the years."

Dyke was also placed on the sex offender register for life.

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