Mervyn Rush jailed for Norfolk school sex abuse in 1970s

Mervyn Rush
Image caption Mervyn Rush was arrested in Paris when he went to collect a passport

A former teacher who evaded the authorities for more than a decade has been jailed for 14 years for sexually abusing boys at a Norfolk school.

Mervyn Rush, 68, disappeared in 2000 while awaiting trial but was extradited from France earlier this year.

Rush, formerly of Dorking, Surrey, appeared at Norwich Crown Court where he admitted 18 charges relating to sex crimes against 12 boys in the mid-'70s.

Some of the science teacher's victims were as young as nine.

The court heard the offences took place between 1973 and 1977 at the school, which cannot be identified for legal reasons, and that Rush's oldest victims were aged 12.

'Special group'

He pleaded guilty to seven counts of a serious sexual offence and 11 of indecent assault.

Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said: "Mr Rush had a group of special boys and it was seen as something of a privilege to be part of that group."

The court heard the "perks" of belonging to this group were to go out for drives in Rush's sports cars and to bring him cups of tea in the morning.

The boys would visit his room in pyjamas and Rush would invite them to get into bed to keep warm before sexually assaulting them.

The court heard that one victim told police: "All this at 13 seemed very attractive to me and when I was asked by another boy if I wanted to join the group, I accepted.

"The first time I was invited to his room he produced a magazine - I think it was Mayfair - and asked what I thought.

"Most of the boys seemed used to this, but I was totally shocked."

'Twenty attacks'

Sentencing the father of three, Judge Stephen Holt said: "You were in a position of trust and were eventually brought to justice because of the concern that one of your victims had about what you may still be doing to children.

"One of the complainants claims they were attacked 20 times by you."

Speaking after the court case, Det Con Pete Sayer said: "Through the position he held, it would have been the most basic of expectations to protect these children.

"Instead he chose to do the complete opposite."

Rush was originally arrested in 1999, but disappeared ahead of a court appearance.

He was detained by French police in May 2012 when he visited the British Embassy in Paris to collect a passport.

Rush denied a further 24 charges with which the prosecution did not proceed.

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