A former teacher at a top private school has been convicted of four sex offences against a teenage pupil.
Gary Dobbie, 67, taught at Christ’s Hospital School in Sussex when he indecently assaulted the boy between 1986 and 1991. Jurors at Hove Crown Court heard he molested the pupil while discussing the arts and teaching him how to be ‘posh’.
The victim told the court Dobbie groped him during night visits to his on-site lodgings, talked to him about philosophy and art, and fed him wine and smoked oysters. Now a married father, who still battles with traumatic memories, he says that visiting Dobbie had been an ‘escape’ from being bullied by older boys. He told the court that due to his poor background, he was in awe of the luxuries, adding: “I desperately wanted to be posh”.
In a separate trial last year, Dobbie was convicted of 15 other offences against six boys and two girls.
He will be sentenced on all counts on 12 June 2019.
Detective Sergeant Karrie Bohanna of the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit said Dobbie had “preyed on the vulnerabilities of his victims for his own sexual gratification”.
“This latest case involved Dobbie establishing a strong relationship with the male pupil over a period of two to three years whilst alone with him at his own on-site lodgings, where he would give him alcohol and assault him whilst having intimate conversations. The pupil had suffered a difficult time at the school and was bullied. He turned to Dobbie for refuge”.
As the court heard last year in the previous trial, Dobbie had also engaged in systematic grooming and sexual abuse over many years against other pupils. Dobbie would host dinner parties at his house in the school grounds with pupils.
The conviction is the latest in a comprehensive investigation into historic sex abuse claims at the Horsham School, which began in January 2016 when pupils first contacted the school and reported the abuse.
Over the years, our Abuse Team here at Farleys have seen a drastic increase in the number of enquiries we receive from victims of sexual abuse both recent and historic. I myself represent hundreds of clients who have been subjected to this type of offence with a large proportion of them having experienced abuse at the hands of teachers entrusted to care for them.
If you or someone you know has experienced the same then I would welcome your enquiry either directly via telephone 01282 718000, via our dedicated Abuse Line 03301 346997, or via our website.