A FORMER public school teacher from Churt has been jailed for the historic sexual abuse of 10 boys in what was described by the judge as a “shocking period of offending”.
Paedophile Patrick Vernon Marshall, 70, of Frensham Lane, was convicted on Monday by a jury of 24 counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual activity with a child after a four-week trial at Southwark Crown Court.
He was sentenced on the same day to 18 years’ imprisonment by judge Martin Griffith.
Marshall was arrested and charged as part of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into non-recent sexual o?ences committed by former teachers at St Paul’s School, and its preparatory school Colet Court, in Barnes whose alumni includes the former Chancellor George Osborne.
The Met launched Operation Winthorpe in February 2014 after a number of allegations were made of child sexual abuse in the Barnes area from the 1960s through to the 1990s.
Marshall, who worked at St Paul’s from 1971 to 1981, is the third former teacher at the school to be convicted of indecently assaulting boys aged under 16.
A number of the boys targeted by Marshall were members of a school rowing club, of which he was a coach.
The boys he abused were aged between 11 and 15 years old at the time of the o?ences, and, according to prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC, were deemed “vulnerable through youth, family circumstances or teenage confidence anxieties”.
Marshall gained the trust of their respective families to manipulate circumstances in which he could carry out his abuse. In one case, Marshall abused a boy who was grieving the loss of his father.
The court also heard that Marshall took a number of his pupils on holidays across Europe, and would ‘seduce’ his favourites before dropping one schoolboy in favour of another.
Two of the first known indecent assault charges were committed by Marshall when he was in his early 20s, while working at Windsor Grammar School from 1968 until 1971.
Ms Cottage QC said: “This case is about deliberate and targeted sexual abuse of children by their teacher and family friend.
“This defendant used the respectability which his status as a teacher of geography and rowing coach gave him access to boys he would go on to groom and assault.
“He used their vulnerability and the trust of their respective families to manipulate circumstances in which he could perpetrate sexual abuse.”
Detective Superintendent Ang Scott, who the led the police investigation, added: “Patrick Marshall abused his position of trust as a teacher to take advantage of 10 boys whom he targeted over more than a decade.
“Marshall manipulated his way into the trust of the boys’ families and used threats to ensure they stayed silent about the abuse.
“I would like to praise the bravery of the people abused by Marshall who, despite the passage of time, had the confidence to come forward and report the abuse to police and give evidence in court.
“Our specially trained officers have supported the people involved in this case throughout the court process and I hope the guilty verdicts give them some form of closure.”
Anyone who has been the victim of sexual assault should contact their local police force, or call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.