Glasgow & West Scotland

Former teacher sexually abused pupils at Largs boarding school

Peter Toner Image copyright Surrey Police
Image caption Peter Toner will be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow in March

A former teacher has been convicted of grooming and sexually abusing five pupils at a boarding school run by a religious order.

Peter Toner, known as Brother Peter, was a house master at the now former St Columba's College in Largs, Ayrshire, in the early 1980s.

A court heard Toner's abuse became so regular another teacher locked him in his room to keep him away from boys.

The 61-year-old, who denied the charges, will be sentenced in March.

Toner was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow of six charges of sexual abuse and a charge of assault.

Long-lasting damage

Following his conviction, it was revealed Toner is currently serving three-and-a-half years in prison for sexually abusing two pupils at a private Catholic boarding school in Old Windsor, Berkshire, during the 1980s.

Following the latest guilty verdict, Judge Johanna Johnston QC told Toner: "The damage you have caused has been profound and likely to be long-lasting."

Jurors heard how the teacher would let his victims, who were aged between eight and 12, watch violent films.

One man told the trial that he searched for Toner online to see if he was still alive, and then reported him to the police.

He said: "I had kept it hidden all this time. I wanted it all to come out."

Another victim, now 47, said: "He once told me he loved me like a son."

Watched in bath

A third victim said Toner had a moped that only certain boys who were his favourites could play on.

The man told the jury that Toner would watch him as he bathed.

Hs said: "To begin with he would watch me taking a bath, then he would tell me 'touch yourself here, touch yourself there'."

He said the abuse sometimes involved another boy.

The trial was also told Toner also took the boy to his bedroom where he sexually abused him.

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