February 2008

Paedophile caretaker spared jail sentence

A former caretaker who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two school boys has been spared jail.

Paedophile Arthur Miller also admitted having child pornography on his home computer, but walked free from Croydon Crown Court.

The 65-year-old former Stowford College IT teacher joined the school in Brighton Road in 1998, as a caretaker.

The first offence came to light on January 4, 2007, when he assaulted a boy in a shed used as a changing room for games.

The young victim told a friend what happened and he said something similar had happened to him the previous year.

A father of another boy said Miller pursued his son and gave him presents, which the court said had been “grooming”.

The court heard that after his arrest Miller, from Priory Crescent in Sutton, wrote a suicide note for his wife and jumped in front of a Tube train. But he landed in a trough between rails and the train went over him.

When police went to his home they seized his computer and discovered two images of naked teenage boys and evidence he had viewed porn sites.

Defending, Sonya Saul, said Miller’s relatives and friends were supporting him. “He is deeply ashamed and hopes there would be no lasting effect on the boys,” Miss Saul said.

Judge Timothy Stow QC told Miller his behaviour was appalling. He added. “It was undoubtedly a breach of trust. I take into account your genuine remorse, which you demonstrated by trying to commit suicide.”

Miller, who pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault and two of making indecent images of children, was given 12 months suspended for two years, disqualified from working with children for the rest of his life, given a two- year supervision order and made to sign the sexual offenders’ register.

A mother of a former Stowford pupil, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was appalled by the sentence. “How can society let us down like this?” she added.