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Former teacher admits sexual assault on boys





Roland Midgley
Roland Midgley

A DISGRACED former woodwork teacher has finally admitted abusing his position by sexually assaulting boys in his room at a south Warwickshire school in the 1970s and 80s.

Two more of perverted Roland Midgley’s victims had come forward after reading of a trial two years ago which ended with Midgley being convicted of three charges of indecent assault.

But a judge at Warwick Crown Court heard that he was not charged with those matters until the day he was released from a three-and-a-half-year prison term earlier this year.

Midgley, aged 74, of Warwick Road, Southam, was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years after pleading guilty to two charges of indecent assault.

And two further charges, relating to two other former pupils, to which he pleaded not guilty, were allowed to lie on the court file.

Prosecutor Graeme Simpson, who had also prosecuted Midgley at his trial in April 2017, said the complainants had come forward towards the end of the trial as a result of press reports and then Facebook postings.

Mr Simpson said the offences took place at Kineton High School where Midgely, a woodwork teacher, had worked from 1967 until his retirement in 2000.

The first victim was a 13-year-old who was at the school in the 1970s and who cut his hand during a woodwork class.

On the pretext of treating the cut, Midgley took him into a store room where he undid the boy’s trousers, exposing his underpants, telling him: “You need to get some air.”

But they were then disturbed by another teacher, and the boy did up his trousers and left the room.

The other boy was a 12-year-old who was at the school in the 1980s and got into trouble for ‘mooning,’ exposing his bare backside, on a bus.

He was sent to Midgley’s office where he was told to demonstrate what he had done.

And when the boy complied and dropped his trousers, Midgley flicked his genitals twice with the back of his hand.

Mr Simpson added that Midgley already had to register as a sex offender for life following the more serious sexual assaults on two other boys of which he was convicted in 2017.

Antonie Muller, defending, said: “What no-one can come to terms with is why, when the prosecution knew of these further complaints at the time of the trial, it took nearly two years for somebody to decide to charge him as he had just left the custodial sentence.”

And Mr Muller posed the question: “Would that judge [Recorder Nicholas Syfret QC] have sentenced him to more than the three-and-a-half years for two more complainants, given the level of criminality involved and the now pleas.

“He has served his time, and has now come to terms with admitting what he did. I would ask Your Honour to say that this man will not serve more time.”

Sentencing Midgley, Judge Anthony Potter told him: “You have today finally admitted what you did to children in your care in the 1980s.

“I have no doubt Recorder Syfret set out quite clearly the way society views people like you who are granted authority over children and have responsibility for their pastoral care and abuse that trust.

“You had very real authority in the 1980s, at a time when society was more regimented, and sorely abused that trust.

“You manufactured in a small room at Kineton High School a scenario where you got, quite unnecessarily, [the boy] who you were purporting to discipline, to demonstrate what he had done.

“You then briefly fondled him by flicking his genitals, and you did that, as you have now admitted, with indecent thought in your mind.

“With [the other boy] a decade before, he had been in a condition of distress and, rather than comforting him, you got him to open his trousers. It was only through luck, by someone disturbing you, that you did not go any further.”

Judge Potter added that Midgley could have continued to deny the other matters despite being convicted by the jury, ‘but that has changed today by your pleas of guilty.’



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