England

Christ's Hospital ex-teacher Gary Dobbie jailed for abuse

Gary Dobbie Image copyright PA
Image caption Gary Dobbie abused nine children

A former teacher and chaplain at a top private school has been jailed for 12 years for abusing nine pupils.

Gary Dobbie, 67, was convicted of assaulting seven boys and two girls at Christ's Hospital School, Horsham in Sussex, between 1986 and 2001 in two Hove Crown Court trials.

He is one of five ex-teachers convicted over complaints spanning 30 years by 22 former students at the school.

After the hearing, current headmaster Simon Reid made a "heartfelt" apology.

During the latest trial, Dobbie's victim told the court he was given wine and was once fed smoked oysters before he was abused.

He said visiting Dobbie was an "escape" from being bullied, but he was shown little sympathy and was instead groped while they sat alone on a sofa.

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

The married father, who still has traumatic memories, said he confided in another teacher at the school, but was told "get over it and move on".

Dobbie was arrested while teaching at independent Shrewsbury School, Shropshire, where he worked after leaving Christ's.

After living in Hereford, he moved to Albi, France.

"It is hard to find the right words to express the depth of our sadness and dismay, as a school community, at the dreadfulness of this situation," Mr Reid said.

"We are deeply sorry that the school failed to protect the victims of these offences and those others who were entrusted to our care."

He said: "The school today is a very different place."

The four other former teachers jailed for abusing pupils at the school were sports coach Ajaz Karim, James Husband, Peter Webb and Peter Burr.

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