May 2021

Victim of paedophile former Surrey head teacher says abuse ‘ended my childhood’ as he’s jailed

A former Surrey head teacher has been jailed after justice was finally served more than 30 years after he sexually abused a girl on multiple occasions.

Over a period of three years during the 1980s, Colin Brooks, now 77, took advantage of the girl’s vulnerability to exploit her sexually, forcing her to perform sex acts on him at “every opportunity” according to the judge who sentenced him.

He has been sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to seven counts of indecent assault on the female victim, having initially accused her of making up the abuse.

The defendant, who had since moved to Brixham, in Devon, previously worked as a teacher and headmaster at various educational establishments across the South East of England.

He became the head teacher at The Grove School in Hindhead during the 1980s. The school is now known as The Royal School.

A sentencing hearing on Monday (May 17) at Guildford Crown Court heard the sexual abuse began in the 1980s when the victim was a teenager, with the first offence taking place during a car journey.

Prosecutor Adrian Fleming said: “[Brooks] put his hand on hers to keep it on his leg. He then moved her hand up to near his groin. She became aware that he had an erection.”

He added that Brooks “pulled the car over, stopped, unzipped his flies” and placed her hand on his privates, before driving on. He only removed it near the end of the journey, “and for the first time of many, he told her ‘this is our secret, don’t tell anyone’.”

The court heard how Brooks made “more serious threats” to enforce her silence, including that if she told her mother, she would be sent away or placed into the care system.

The abuse continued over a three-year period, during which he kissed her and felt her breasts and she was forced to perform oral sex and other acts on him.

Mr Fleming said Brooks visited the victim’s house and went into her bedroom “under the pretence of saying goodnight”. He said he “showed her how to give him the most pleasure”.

The victim, who appeared at Guildford Crown Court for the sentencing hearing, read aloud an emotional impact statement to the court, detailing her “most painful memories”.

She said: “The evening when things began not only shook me to the core, but effectively ended my childhood. I was fairly grown up for my age, but this was on an altogether different scale.

“It meant I grew up far more quickly than I should have done and I also learned to be an efficient liar.”

After the abuse ended, the victim said she “learned to live with the after-effects of what happened” and hoped to put the past behind her.

However, she was forced to disclose the sexual abuse to police years later when one of her former partners made allegations which implicated the wrong man.

She completed a video interview on November 14, 2018, and Brooks was arrested and interviewed on January 4, 2019, the court heard.

In that interview, he denied all the offences, claiming they were “fabrications of the worst kind”.

He was interviewed a second time on November 28, 2019 and “persisted in those denials”. He was later charged and pleaded guilty to all seven counts of indecent assault.