Wellington College teacher Bruce Roth guilty of sex abuse of five boys

 

A teacher at one of the country's most prestigious public schools has been found guilty of sexually abusing five young boys.

Bruce Roth, who taught maths at £30,000-a-year Wellington College until he was arrested, groomed and performed sex acts on three boys at the boarding school and two at King's School in Rochester, Kent, where he taught previously.

Roth strenuously denied the 17 charges against him, accusing his victims of conspiring against him because they did not like him as a teacher and calling one of them "sinister".

He remained impassive in the dock, apart from occasionally shaking his head, as the jury of six men and six women at Reading Crown Court returned their guilty verdicts on all counts after just over 18 hours of deliberation.

A woman in the public gallery burst into tears as they were read out.

The trial heard that two complaints were made against Roth over claims that he sexually touched one boy and repeatedly abused another, both aged between eight and 10, while an assistant housemaster at King's School between 1987 and 1994.

But the accusations were dropped - the second time following an internal investigation. He left the school and went to Wellington, where he taught until 2010.

Wellington College counts broadcaster Peter Snow, comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner, pop star Will Young and journalist and author Sebastian Faulks among its alumni.

Roth was jailed for a total of 11 years.

Two of Roth's victims were just eight when they were abused at King's School.

The Wellington victims were teenagers, some from vulnerable backgrounds. One tried to commit suicide because of Roth's attacks.

In each case there was a clear progression from grooming though to sexual touching and performing sex acts on the boys.

Judge Simon Davis described Roth as a "plausible, intelligent man", who was capable of being highly manipulative.

His behaviour at the college in Crowthorne may have been shaped by his being exonerated of wrongdoing at the previous school in Kent, the judge said.

"You have impressed some schoolboys, some parents, some teachers in high and influential positions, who are all convinced you are a good, kind and pastoral teacher, a professional man," he added.

"You have a number of other sides to your character besides those.

"I find you do have an interest in young boys/men in their adolescent years. A worrying facet in these proceedings."

Judge Davis attacked Roth for what he said were attempts to character assassinate his victims in what he said was a "sad and dreadful case".

"In the face of clear evidence from all five complainants, you maintained first to the police and then to this court that each and every one of the allegations of which you have been convicted were fabricated," he said.

"You were not able to deceive this jury.

"Your choice, namely to contest the case, meant that every individual complainant came to this court to relive the events to which you had subjected them over the past 20 years or so.

"As the law presently stands I am not able to penalise you for putting those witnesses through the ordeal of giving evidence.

"For some it was evident to me that it was more of a horrendous experience than others."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee