Equestrian tutor’s sex abuse of boys
JAIL SENTENCE: Youngsters felt they could not reject pervert’s advances
A LEADING equestrian teacher has been jailed for four years for abusing two young apprentices more than 10 years ago.
John Bunyan, 58, who was described as eminent in the world of showjumping and was a British Horse Society instructor, repeatedly molested the teenagers at his stables in Findon, Shadoxhurst, near Ashford.
Maidstone Crown Court heard last Friday that Bunyan had a “controlling” effect on the boys and neither felt able to stop what he was doing.
Prosecutor Deborah Charles said: ”Neither felt they could reject his advances or refuse his demands.
“Both felt initially it was a one-off or an accident but as time went on they found it impossible to stand up to his advances.”
Bunyan admitted seven offences of indecent assault at an earlier hearing.
Jailing him, Judge Andrew Patience QC said Bunyan’s breach of trust was “wicked”.
The judge added: “They felt intimidated by the effective power you had over the development of their careers ... the effect upon them has been devastating.”
The court heard the youths were apprentices at the stables and had “invested their future careers” in Bunyan.
The abuse on both teenag- ers involved “treatment” using a machine usually used on horses to develop muscles and for pain-killing.
First, electrodes would be placed on their bodies in nonintimate places.
But, Bunyan soon progressed to the groin area and then touched the boys’ genitals as well as other sexual acts.
While molesting them he would also make comments, said Miss Charles.
One was told other successful horsemen were bisexual, she said, adding: “From this the victim assumed others were doing this and it was perfectly normal.”
The same victim was also abused in a horse-box while accompanying Bunyan to a show.
He later told police he felt his “whole world would collapse” if he did not do what Bunyan said.
The court heard that he left the stables a year later but only confided in a family friend three years ago. He then went to the police in September 2005.
Bunyan’s second victim first met him when he was giving lessons at a riding club.
The boy reported what had happened to him in November 2005.
Bunyan was arrested but claimed he had consensual sexual relationships with both boys.
John Bunyan, who was jailed for four years for abusing two apprentices at his stables