Jail '˜inevitable' for retired woodwork teacher from Southam who abused two boys at Kineton High School

A retired woodwork teacher from Southam is facing an '˜inevitable' jail sentence after he was convicted of sexually abusing two boys in his room at Kineton High School in the 1980s.

Friday, 7th April 2017, 10:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:23 pm
Former Kineton High School woodwork teacher Roland Midgley. NNL-170404-105600001

Roland Midgley, 72, of Warwick Road, had pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to four charges of indecently assaulting two boys while he was a woodwork teacher at the school.

But after deliberating for almost five hours the jury found Midgley guilty of the charge he faced in relation to one of the boys, who was 13 at the time.

And after a further hour, the jury convicted him of two offences against the other boy when he was aged 12 and 13, but not guilty of one charge in relation to the same boy.

His barrister Lee Masters said: “He has been made aware by myself that a custodial sentence in inevitable. Any mitigation would be to the length of any sentence.”

Recorder Nicholas Syfret QC rejected a request for a pre-sentence report, and granted Midgley bail overnight. He added: “A custodial sentence is inevitable.”

The jury had heard the offences took place in the 1980s when Midgley was a woodwork teacher at Kineton High School, where he had worked from 1967 until he retired in 2000, and was also head of years one and two.

The first complainant said that after he was kicked in the groin when he was 12, a note was sent instructing him to go to see Midgley in the woodwork room at lunchtime.

The victim said: “He asked me what happened, and I told him. He told me to follow him into his office. He told me to take down my trousers and my underwear, and he then started to press around on my groin and asked me if it hurt.”

Midgley then began to inspect and fondle his genitals before telling him to ‘pull yourself up’ and go back to class.

It was said he was abused in a similar way on further occasions, but Midgley was cleared of a charge reflecting that allegation – and Recorder Syfret said he would sentence him on the basis of two specific incidents.

Describing the second of those, the victim had told the jury: “I was told to see him at lunchtime. We had to go to the same room. I was 13 then.

“He told me to take down my trousers and underwear again, and I had to face the wall with both hands against the wall.

“That’s when he took his hands and put them between my legs and moved them further apart. I went to turn round, and he said ‘don’t look round.’”

The witness said Midgley then reached round from behind and touched him, and he realised Midgley must have been on his knees ‘with his face close-up to my body.’

He said that was when he did turn round and tried to cover his genitals with his hands, but was told to put his hands by his side before being told to ‘pull up’ and leave.

Asked what prompted him to report matters so many years later, he explained that he was taking part in a discussion about school in the 1980s on a social media site – and when Midgley’s name was mentioned, it brought it back to him.

The jury heard Midgley had indecently assaulted the other boy, also in the 1980s, by undoing his shirt and trousers before putting his hand down the front and fondling him, after that boy had also been told to go and see him.

Years later, in 1999, that man had complained to the police, but prosecutor Graeme Simpson said Midgley was not charged at the time, and the matter lay dormant.

“But during the police investigation into the later allegations it came to light again, and the defendant was charged in relation to both men,” added Mr Simpson.