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
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable