Carmel College sex abuse: Trevor Bolton's sentence 'not too harsh'

Trevor Bolton
Image caption Trevor Bolton told the boys they could visit his home when they felt homesick

A former housemaster's 19-year jail sentence for sex offences against boys was not too harsh, the appeal court has ruled.

Trevor Bolton, 78, from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, targeted his victims over 20 years at the former Carmel College.

He was convicted of 25 offences, including indecent assault and indecency with a child.

His legal team said age, fragile health and an otherwise good character should have been better taken into account.

He was sentenced last October at Oxford Crown Court for the crimes against eight boys, aged between 11 and 15.

The abuse was committed at the renowned Oxfordshire boarding school, where he taught between the 1960s and the late 1980s.

The trial heard that Bolton lived in a flat above the boys' dormitories and preyed on vulnerable or homesick youngsters, grooming them with chocolates, cigarettes and TV.

London's Appeal Court heard Bolton had mental and physical health problems and would be about 90 when set free.

Mr Justice Knowles agreed it was "an enormous thing for a 78-year-old person in poor health to face" but argued the trial judge was aware of this.

He added: "The fundamental question is whether the overall 19-year sentence for this sustained and grave offending over the course of 20 years was manifestly excessive?"

He concluded: "In our judgment it was not and we would dismiss the appeal."

Carmel College

Image copyright Bill Nicholls
Image caption Trevor Bolton carried out the abuse at Carmel College between 1968 and 1988

Carmel College was founded in 1948 and closed in 1997

It was originally based at Greenham Common, Berkshire, but moved to Mongewell Park in 1952

During its life the school was attended by about 4,000 students - a third from overseas

A 1973 edition of the Observer described it as "the Jewish Eton"

Source: Carmel College website

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