Paedophile ex-teacher at Oxfordshire boarding school jailed for 19 years

A former teacher at a prestigious Jewish boarding school near Wallingford was sentenced to 19 years in prison at Oxford Crown Court this afternoon for sexually abusing schoolboys.

Trevor Bolton, 78, of Kestrel Way in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, had denied all charges but was found guilty of 21 offences by a unanimous jury on Wednesday and of a further four offences yesterday by a majority jury of 11 to 1.

He was convicted of a string of offences on eight boys aged 10 to 15 at now-closed Carmel College between 1968 and 1988.

While sentencing Judge Ian Pringle told Bolton today: “No credit can be given to you for putting these men in the position of having to relive their childhood nightmare, which in some cases, happened as far as 45 years ago.

“You acted as a father-type figure to these pupils in your care and you would say to some of them that you would be a second father to them.

“This was all part of your gruelling technique which you played on your young victims and you began to nurture them, ultimately, for your own sexual gratification.”

Speaking ahead of the sentencing, defence barrister, Barry Gilbert, said: “He has led a hardworking, blameless life. He has worked hard and he was well liked by many people and it is simply a tragedy that he has to be condemned to the rest of his life in prison.”

One of Bolton’s eight victims, Peter Gluckstein, who now lives in North London, waived his anonymity and said after the sentencing: “I feel quite overwhelmed by it all.

“I knew it would be a long sentence but the judge really threw the book at him. I don’t feel triumphant about it, in fact I feel overwhelmingly sad for the little boys and for me as a little boy for the abuse that he did.

“I waived my anonymity because I believe its important to get the word out, the more people that come out for this the better.”

Mr Gluckstein, 56, who attended Carmel College between 1969 and 1976 added: “I think this could be closure for me.

“I used to lay awake at night worrying if it would ever go to trial but now it’s done, and I speak for me and the other victims who I’ve been in contact with, when I say that we are all generally relieved.”

Det Con Trish Coyne of Oxfordshire Child Abuse Investigation said: “The length of these sentences reflect the severity of Bolton’s crimes.

“Whilst the offences took place some time ago, and despite the fact that Bolton’s eight victims are successful individuals, every single one of them has admitted the offences have had an impact on them well into their adult lives.

“I would like to thank their bravery and patience. They have waited a long time to see justice be done.”

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service said: “Trevor Bolton abused his position of trust and took advantage of his status to systematically prey on vulnerable or homesick young boys by inviting them to his flat to watch TV and smoke.

“He then abused them for his own sexual gratification. It is only due to the great courage of the victims that the despicable behaviour of this man has been exposed.

“The conviction serves as an important message to people who have been the victim of such crime or those that know such crimes are being committed, that they should come forward and time is no barrier to justice.”

It followed a three-week trial which saw his victims give evidence both in person and via video link from different countries.

During the trial one victim told the court Bolton befriended him when he first arrived at the school as a child because he had been homesick.

He said Bolton comforted him, but that developed from cuddling to sexual contact.

Another victim told the court Bolton invited him to his flat at the school above the boys’ dormitories where he would play video games and there was an unlimited supply of chocolate.

The victim, now in his 40s, said Bolton insisted on him joining him in his bed.

He told the jury: “He came to my dormitory, which I shared with a room mate, on two occasions. On one occasion, he was on the edge of the bed, shaking me awake and I was really shocked and got really scared.

“The next time I moved my bed to the door to stop him coming down. He started banging on the door and I got really nervous so I immediately opened the door and went up with him that night.”

He said he was sexually abused by Bolton on 10 occasions over 10 to 16 months.

The school in Mongewell Road shut in 1997.

Another victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spoke out yesterday: “The trial process conjured a strange mixture of emotions, by turns gruelling, frustrating, empowering and, at the end, redemptive but overwhelmingly sad.

“Seeing my abuser, giving my evidence, staying strong under cross examination and, ultimately, a guilty verdict were all positive experiences. The defence barrister’s attempts to destroy our evidence and the endless waiting for that verdict were rather more difficult.
“But I’m glad I went through it, glad someone else came forward to start the ball rolling, glad I heard about it and joined in, glad I stuck with it and glad I’ve been able to exorcise those demons after all these years.
“I’m happy to speak out now in the hope that other people in my position will find the courage to come forward and speak out and also to try and shine more light on the dark, dirty secrets that our society continues to hide.”