November 2017

Former teacher jailed for sexual assaults on pupil

Justice has caught up with a former teacher more than 30 years after he sexually assaulted one of his pupils.

Peter Roberts, who taught at a school in Bilston, befriended the family of the girl, even going on holiday with them, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

He took their children to football and swimming and used these opportunities to ‘groom’ her, said Mr Andrew Baker, prosecuting.

Roberts started teaching at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Primary School in 1976.

It was in the 1980s that he became ‘infatuated’ with the child and started the assaults.

He began touching her while reading stories in her bedroom, said Mr Baker who continued: “The touching progressed and would happen regularly at weekends. This was an extreme abuse of trust by somebody who was not only a teacher but a family friend.”

Roberts, who was living in Bilston, carried out regular assaults until she plucked up the courage to tell him to stop, revealed the prosecutor.

This brought the attacks to a halt but he remained friendly with the family until they moved away from the area two years later.

The girl first mentioned to them what had happened to her in 1999 but did not want to pursue the matter at that stage.

She finally gave details to the police many years later when approached by officers investigating allegations made by somebody else.

Roberts, now aged 70 and back living in Liverpool, initially denied her claims but quickly accepted full responsibility.

Roberts, now from Forthlin Road, Liverpool, and of previous good character, pleaded guilty to three specimen charges of indecent assault and was jailed for three years by Judge James Burbidge QC who told him: “You have lived for many years with a dark secret.

“Unfortunately the injured party had to live with it as well and it adversely affected her life, her relationships and her overall being.

“Her bedroom should have been a safe place for her.”