Teacher on trial over Carmel College ‘sex abuse’
A FORMER teacher at a Jewish boarding school went on trial this week accused of grooming vulnerable young pupils for sexual abuse.
Trevor Bolton, 78, from Clactonon-Sea, Essex, pleaded not guilty to 25 counts of indecency and sexual assault involving eight boys at Carmel College under the age of 16 between 1968 until his departure from the school in 1988.
Prosecuting at Oxford Crown Court, Simon Wilshire said that Mr Bolton would “systematically identify and then target boarding pupils who were particularly vulnerable, be it through homesickness or bullying”.
He would win their trust by showing affection and providing emotional support before “gradually grooming” them to perform sex acts on him as well as assaulting them.
The teacher was a junior housemaster at the school in Wallingford, Oxfordshire — which closed in 1997 — who was responsible for boys as young as 10.
One of the two ex-pupils who gave evidence on the opening day on the trial on Wednesday said he had been “terribly homesick” when he came to the school. At first, the teacher had been “comforting and quite kind”, then he started taking him out of the dormitory at night for chats, when he would cuddle him. The next step he would “smuggle me into his flat”, the jury was told.
“I would have to sit on his lap and he would put his hand inside the flies of my pyjamas and move his hand around.”
While this went on, the ex-pupil said he was “very still, I was screaming in my head for it to stop. I was embarrassed… I hoped if I kept still, he would notice.”
He told the court that he had subsequently tried to block out this period of his life as much as he could. “I feel my childhood was stolen,” he said.
A second former pupil, who gave evidence by video link, recalled being
taken to the teacher’s flat and sharing his bed. “I would lay on top of him and he would lay on top of me. That was almost nightly,” he said.
The teacher would also bathe him. “Mr Bolton would wash me from head to toe, genitals, everywhere.”
The former pupil said he only realised this was wrong when he was 14 or 15 but was too ashamed to say anything. “Mr Bolton had such stature in the school… who was going to believe me?” he said.
Police began investigating three years ago when the wife of one of the eight former pupils reported what her husband had told her.
One alleged victim came forward after reading about the police investigation in the JC.
When interviewed by police, Mr Bolton had denied any physical contact with boys beyond giving them a cuddle when they were upset, Mr Wilshire told the jury. The trial continues.