Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Ex-Stanbridge Earls pupil Gareth Stephenson guilty of sex offences

A former pupil of a Hampshire special needs school has been convicted of sexual offences.

Gareth Stephenson, 25, of Reading, was found guilty of six counts following a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Offences, including sexual assault on a male under 13, took place when he was a pupil at Stanbridge Earls School, near Romsey, and in Aberystwyth.

He was found not guilty of a further three counts of sexual activity with a male child under 16.

Stephenson, of Anstey Road, Reading, is due to be sentenced on 11 September.

He was found guilty of sexual activity with a male child under 16 by penetration, sexual assault on a male under 13 and causing a male under 16 to engage in sexual activity.

Stanbridge Earls closed in 2014.

The independent school - which once commanded fees of £40,000-a-year - taught 191 boarding and day pupils with special needs, aged from 10 to 19.

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