Fri, 24 Nov 2017
A PAEDOPHILE schoolteacher who raped and abused boy pupils has had his appeal against the severity of his sentence rejected.
Senior judges said that Robert ‘Alan' Neill’s “appalling” crimes fully justified the lengthy jail term imposed on him.
Neill, a former head of house at Kennet School, Thatcham, was jailed for 21 years at Reading Crown Court in March last year.
The sexual predator’s jaw briefly dropped as the sentence was passed by Judge Angela Morris.
A jury had unanimously convicted the 64-year-old, who taught at Kennet School between 1985 and 2007, of a string of depraved assaults on boys as young as 11, which culminated in a rape.
During the trial Neill, who lived at Park Lane, Thatcham, had branded his victims liars and fantasists as he denied five charges of indecent assault, four of indecency with a child and one of rape involving five young boys between 1986 and 2003.
Despite being a respected ‘head of house’, Neill’s true nature was laid bare as victim after victim told similar, horrific tales.
But, on Tuesday, Neill sought to have his sentence reduced at London’s Appeal Court.
His lawyers argued that 21 years was not merely too long but represented “a vast sentence”.
Pleading for a reduction in the term, they pointed to Neill’s age and previous good character.
But Sir John Royce told the appeal court judges how Neill had abused his position to “single out the boys”, with his crimes “escalating in seriousness as time went on”.
He said Neill's worst crimes were against a pupil aged just 11 or 12.
He fondled him, performed a sex act on him and then made the boy do the same to him before raping him.
Sir John, sitting with Lord Justice Holroyde and Judge Jeremy Carey, said Neill’s crimes involved a “gross breach of trust” and were “predatory”.
He added: “He appears to have selected boys who were young and vulnerable.
“The total sentence of 21 years was fully justified in the appalling circumstances of this offending.”