England

Christ's Hospital ex-teacher Gary Dobbie guilty of abuse

Gary Dobbie Image copyright PA
Image caption Gary Dobbie will be sentenced next month

A former teacher at a top private school has been convicted of four sex offences against a teenage pupil.

Gary Dobbie, 67, now of France, taught at Christ's Hospital School in Sussex when he indecently assaulted the boy between 1986 and 1991.

Jurors at Hove Crown Court heard he molested the pupil while discussing the arts and teaching him how to be "posh".

In a separate trial last year, Dobbie was convicted of 15 other offences against six boys and two girls.

Dobbie, formerly of Hereford and now of Rue De La Piale in Albi, was teaching at Shrewsbury School, in Shropshire, at the time of his arrest in 2016.

Silk boxer shorts

During the trial, jurors heard he advised the boy on etiquette, urging him to wear silk boxer shorts because that was what "posh people" wore.

The victim told the court Dobbie groped him during night visits to his on-site lodgings, talked to him about philosophy and art, and fed him wine and smoked oysters.

Now a married father who still battles with traumatic memories, he said visiting Dobbie had been an "escape" from being bullied by older boys.

He told the court that due to his poor background, he was in awe of the luxuries, adding: "I desperately wanted to be posh.

"Gary would teach me about how to behave."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The school failed to protect the boy, current head master Simon Reid said

After the hearing, Christ's Hospital School's head master Simon Reid offered a "heartfelt" apology to the victim and said the school had failed to protect him.

He said: "The school today is a very different place, one in which the safety, happiness and wellbeing of our pupils is at the centre of all we do.

"The close links with local statutory agencies help ensure that our practices and decision-making are both compliant, effective and open."

Det Sgt Karrie Bohanna, from Sussex Police, said Dobbie preyed on the vulnerabilities of his victims for his own sexual gratification.

"Dobbie's victims were mainly children who should have been able to feel safe whilst in the care of their teachers; instead he exploited his position."

Dobbie will be sentenced on all counts on 12 June.

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