Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ex-Teacher Jailed for Sex Abuse

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ex-Teacher Jailed for Sex Abuse

Article excerpt

PRIMARY school pupils in County Durham made themselves sick with washing up liquid to try to avoid lessons with a teacher who sexually abused them in front of the whole class, a court has heard.

When one child complained about Ronald Wotton, the headteacher at the Roman Catholic school did not believe the allegation and made the pupil apologise to the abuser.

Judge Howard Crowson, sitting at Teesside Crown Court, jailed the terminally-ill 73-year-old for five years. Wotton, who uses a wheelchair, admitted 17 counts of indecent assault, three counts of indecency with a male and one of indecency with a child over a 12-year period from the late 1960s.

He was allowed to retire in 1980 when a new head, who could not ignore the mounting allegations against the teacher, took over.

Judge Crowson told Wotton, of Park Lane, Murton, Seaham: "You were sadly operating at a time when, to most of the adult public, it was inconceivable for this type of offending to be committed by a teacher." Wotton's wife left him when he was forced to retire and he has lived in miserable isolation for 30 years, fearful that one day he would be prosecuted, the court heard.

The police began investigating last year when one of his victims was inspired to speak out amid the publicity surrounding the Jimmy Savile scandal, the judge heard. …

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