Former Worcestershire teacher behind bars for 13 years for "systematic abuse" on six boys

BEHIND BARS: Jonathan O’Brien

BEHIND BARS: Jonathan O’Brien

First published in News
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Worcester News: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A FORMER teacher has been jailed for 13 years for sexually abusing pupils under his care during the 1980s.

Jonathan O’Brien,56, of Fairfield Road, Bosham, West Sussex, was sentenced by His Honour Judge Richard Fraser at Chichester Crown Court after being convicted in December, 2013, of 15 counts of indecent assault.

During his career, he taught at schools in North Worcestershire and Oxfordshire, and engaged in "systematic abuse".

The offences were committed against six boys at Winterfold House, Chaddesley Corbett, near Kidderminster, between 1980 and 1985 and against three pupils at The Oratory School, near Reading, between 1985 and 1989.

He had denied all the charges but was found guilty after a four-week trial.

Passing sentence His Honour Judge Richard Fraser said: “The sentiments expressed reflect the evidence that each of them gave in court – a number of them unable to hold back tears as they were forced to relive your abuse.

“It was abundantly clear from the understandably emotional evidence they gave during your trial that your actions have left a very dark shadow which each them has had to find ways to deal with.”

Detective Sergeant Steve Cook, who led the investigation for North Worcestershire CID, said inquiries began in November 2012 when a man came forward to say he had been sexually abused at Winterfold School by O’Brien, who taught subjects including sports and photography there.

Detective Sergeant Cook said: “O’Brien engaged in the systematic abuse of boys over a long period of time.

"In doing so he also disgracefully abused the position of trust he was in and that was particularly relevant in this case as he was teaching in boarding schools where the children were away from their families and had nowhere else to go."

The trial, which took place on Tuesday, May 20, heard the offences had involved pupils who were boarding at both schools and some had taken place at O’Brien’s private residence in Oxfordshire, while he was teaching at The Oratory.

O’Brien was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life and also made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) under which he will be banned on release from living or sleeping in the same household as a child under the age of 16, unless with the express approval of his managing Public Protection Officer (PPO).

He will also be prohibited from having any unsupervised contact or communication with anyone aged under 16 unless it is inadvertent or not reasonably avoidable in the course of normal daily life, or it is with the consent and approval of the PPO.

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