School housemaster 'abused boys', court told

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The Independent Online

A housemaster at St Paul's Cathedral choir school sexually abused boys in his care, the Old Bailey heard today.







Stephen Douglas-Hogg was having a relationship with the other housemaster, Jane Violaris, and together they treated the boys cruelly, it was alleged.



Douglas-Hogg, 52, was asked to leave in 1989 after he was suspected of a serious sexual assault on a child.



Douglas-Hogg, of Filey, North Yorkshire, denies one count of buggery, two counts of indecent assault and two of child cruelty in the 1980s.



Violaris, 48, of Harrow, north London, denies the two child cruelty charges.



The court was told she had been recruited to the prestigious City of London boys' school after graduating from Cambridge University.



Timothy Devlin, prosecuting, said the charges were brought after complainants came forward following a trial at Southwark Crown Court in May last year.



Douglas-Hogg had pleaded guilty to a number indecent assaults on boys in his care at the school.



Mr Devlin said: "In this very small school, an atmosphere of intimidation and homosexuality was emanating from Mr Douglas-Hogg."









Mr Devlin said a former pupil had complained that Violaris had been present when he and other boys were made to bend over and show their bottoms to Douglas-Hogg.



This had happened in the shower block at school playing fields in Bellingham, south London, and at bathtime at the school.



He said the couple had started a relationship which became known to the boys.



The first indecent assault involved one former pupil saying he had been made to perform a sex act on Douglas-Hogg.



Mr Devlin added: "He remembers a female teacher who was having a physical relationship with Mr Douglas-Hogg, and the boys could hear them laughing."



The second allegation involved a child being assaulted as he lay in bed in a dormitory.



The serious sexual assault allegation had been suspected by a school matron. It was reported to police but the child said nothing happened.



He now would tell the jury that he remembered being assaulted after going to Douglas-Hogg's room with a letter found to contain spelling mistakes.





The trial was adjourned to tomorrow.