Beds, Herts & Bucks

Nick Clegg 'appalled' by former school head master's abuse

Roland Wright
Image caption Roland Peter Wright was master then headmaster at Caldicott Preparatory School

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he is "appalled" at the news his former headmaster has been convicted of historical child sex offences.

Roland Peter Wright, 83, of Crown Lane, Farnham Royal, was found guilty of abusing five boys aged between eight and 13 by an Amersham Crown Court jury.

He had denied 10 charges of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child at Caldicott Preparatory School.

Mr Clegg said the nature of the abuse would "disturb everyone".

"I am shocked and appalled by the gross betrayal of trust and violation of childhood innocence that has been shown to have taken place at Caldicott," said Mr Clegg.

'Devastating impact'

"These reports will disturb everyone - but most especially those, like myself, who were pupils at the school and were entirely unaware that such abuse was taking place.

"I can only imagine the devastating impact that such abuse must have had on the young boys who were affected and my heart goes out to them."

Mr Clegg attended the prestigious Buckinghamshire school between 1974 and 1980 and was joint head boy in his final year.

Wright, who was headmaster for 25 years until his retirement in 1993, committed the offences between 1959 and 1970. He had been cleared of three other charges at an earlier trial.

Det Sgt Joe Banfield, of Thames Valley Police, said: "This result would not have occurred without the support of the many victims and witnesses in this case, who bravely gave evidence and provided statements."

Gross indecency

Ruth Bowskill, of Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service, paid tribute to the victims of those found guilty of abuse for their "strength and tenacity in coming forward and giving evidence".

Wright's conviction, on Tuesday, comes after fellow former teachers John Addrison and Hugh Henry pleaded guilty to sex abuse, it can now be reported.

Henry, 82, of Pomeroy Close, Amersham, pleaded guilty to gross indecency with a child. He is due to be sentenced with Wright, on 6 February.

Addrison, 54, of Datchet Road, Slough, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to one count of indecency with or towards a child, and was sentenced to five years' imprisonment, at Aylesbury Crown Court in November last year. He will remain on the sex offenders' register for life.

David Geddes, 71, from Upper Wield, Hampshire, was cleared by a jury of four counts of indecent assault on a child under 16, at a re-trial in March this year.

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