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Nick Clegg's Former Prep School Headmaster Found Guilty Of Abusing Boys

14/08/2014 16:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

Retired teachers' court case

Nick Clegg's former headmaster has been convicted of abusing five young boys at one of Britain's top prep schools.

Roland Peter Wright, 83, from Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire, was accused of sexually assaulting five pupils aged eight to 13 at Caldicott Boys' preparatory school between 1959 and 1970. He was found guilty of 12 counts of sexual assault by a jury at Amersham crown court and will be sentenced on 6 February.

His conviction comes after fellow former teachers John Addrison and Hugh Henry pleaded guilty to sex abuse.

DS Joe Banfield said: "I am delighted that the jury has found Roland Peter Wright guilty of 12 charges. This result would not have occurred without the support of the many victims and witnesses in this case, who bravely gave evidence and provided statements.

"Many of the victims and witnesses had to travel long distances to court, in some cases from different continents, in order to see justice served."

Wright had previously been found not guilty of three offences at an earlier trial.

Ruth Bowskill, of Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service, paid tribute to the victims for their "strength and tenacity in coming forward and giving evidence".

She said: "Roland Peter Wright was a particularly trusted member of staff at Caldicott school and became the head teacher. Not only did he breach the trust of the pupils at the school, their parents and the staff, Wright also abused his position of authority in order to gain access to his victims.

"Roland Peter Wright has never shown any contrition for his behaviour or apologised for his conduct. At all times he has sought to evade responsibility for what he did."

The elite boarding school, for children aged 7 to 13, charges annual fees of £20,000 and sends pupils to some of the country's leading independent schools.

As well as Mr Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, its alumni include former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss.

An ex-pupil who was joint head boy with Mr Clegg in 1980 told The Times of regularly being touched improperly by the headmaster during meals. Mr Clegg has responded, telling the newspaper that he was 'shocked and appalled by the gross betrayal and violation of childhood innocence shown to have taken place'.

He added: "These reports will disturb everyone, but most especially those, like myself, who were pupils at the school and were entirely unaware that such abuse was taking place. I can only imagine the devastating impact that such abuse must have had on the young boys who were affected. My heart goes out to them."

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