Teacher on trial over Carmel Col­lege ‘sex abuse’

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY SI­MON ROCKER

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.

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