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Former Crookham Court School teacher guilty of child abuse

A FORMER teacher at a Thatcham boarding school that was shut after a sex scandal has been convicted of historic child abuse charges at Reading Crown Court.
Mark Standish, also known as Alex Standish, now of Station Street, Waterhouses, Durham, was yesterday (Wednesday) found guilty by a majority verdict of indecently assaulting a boy while he was a teacher at the former Crookham Court School, in Thatcham.
The school was closed after a number of staff were convicted for sexual abuse in the late 1980s.
After a trial at Reading Crown Court in 1989, owner of the school, Philip Cadman, was sentenced to ten years in prison, cut to six years on appeal in 1992.
French teacher, William Printer, was convicted of two indecent assaults and one attempted sexual act, and was imprisoned for ten years at the same trial. He also has his sentence cut to six years.
While English teacher, Anthony Edmonds, was jailed for six years after admitting four serious sexual offences and seven charges of indecent assault.
Now 49-year-old Standish has been found guilty of incidents that took place between 1988 and 1989.
He has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on March 16.
Detective Constable Alison Bennett, from the Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “This has been a long and complicated investigation and we are pleased with the decision that the jury has reached in this case.
“Standish used his position of trust as a teacher to build a friendship with the boy and then over time began to indecently assault him.
“This abuse has had a long term effect on the life of the victim. While he has struggled to come to terms with what happened to him, Standish has gone on to enjoy a high profile career.
“I am pleased that the victim was able to find the courage to report these offences and I hope that this verdict goes someway to providing him with a degree of closure.”
Nina Maisuria, District Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Due to the nature and age of the allegation and the complex issues involved, we knew this would be a difficult case to prosecute. However, having considered the all evidence provided by the Thames Valley Police, we were satisfied that in accordance with the code for crown prosecutors there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution was in the public interest, and made the decision to proceed with this matter.
“The outcome has meant justice has prevailed for the victim.”

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