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Thatcham teacher found guilty of raping and abusing pupils

Robert Neill unanimously convicted of sexually abusing boys while at Kennet School

John Garvey

Reporter:

John Garvey

Former Thatcham teacher appears in court to face historic sex charges

A TEACHER has been found guilty of raping a pupil and sexually abusing others at a West Berkshire school.

Robert 'Alan' Neill, a former head of year at Kennet School in Thatcham, had denied the claims.

However, he was unanimously convicted of all ten charges against him by a jury at Reading Crown Court on Friday.

Neill, 62, of Park Lane, Thatcham carried out a string of assaults on boys aged from 11 years old between 1986 and 2002.

The abuse ranged from exposing himself to serious sex acts and one count of rape.

Giving evidence during a week long trial, Neill had denied the charges, branding his victims liars and fantasists.

At the trial jurors had heard that the boy who was raped by Neill had suffered injuries lasting days - but that the mental scars had lasted a lifetime.

They were also told how Neill had squeezed the boy's knee before grabbing his genitals. He then forced him to perform a sex act on him.

He was found guilty of:

Four counts of indecent assault on a male person under the age of 16

Two counts of indecency with a child under 14 years

One count of rape of a boy under 16 years

One count of indecent assault on a male person aged 12 or 13 years old

Two counts of indecency with a child aged 12 or 13 years old

He will be sentenced on February 19.

Case investigator Leigh Facey of Reading Child Abuse Investigation Unit said: "This was a complex case spanning 16 years with the last offence occuring more than 13 years ago. I would like to thank the victims for their bravery in coming forward and reliving what were horrible experiences.

"I would also take this opportunity to say that Thames Valley Police takes all offences of this kind extremely seriously, no matter how long ago they took place and we can and will successfully prosecute offenders."

For more reaction, see this week's Newbury Weekly News, out on Thursday.

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