WAS THERE A PAEDOPHILE RING AT
ST PAUL’S SCHOOL
COLET COURT SCHOOL, BARNES?
After the successful conviction of three more former staff from St Paul’s school in Barnes, I think it’s fair to conclude that it seems to have employed its fair share of paedophiles and rapists through the years – even recently. Is it a coincidence that one school has attracted so many depraved individuals or is there something far more sinister behind it all?
Following the initial charges made against Sansom-Mallett in 2015, the Croydon Guardian questioned whether there had been an abuse ring at the school. LINK
ST PAUL’S/COLET COURT
St Paul’s School is an independent boarding school for boys aged between 13-18 years. It also has a preparatory school on the same site that used to be known as Colet Court.
Founded by John Colet, it is named after St Paul’s Cathedral. Former pupils (known as ‘Old Paulines’) include:
- Pete Murray (DJ)
- Clement Freud (Writer, paedophile)
- Greville Janner (Labour)
- Kenneth Baker (Conservatives)
- George Osborne (Conservatives)
- Tim Razzall (Richmond politician)
- Serge Lourie (Richmond politician)
- Dan Snow (Journalist)
- Robert Winston (biologist)
- John Dunwoody (Labour)
- Nicholas Parsons (TV Presenter)
- John Simpson (Journalist)
In 2012 the Metropolitan Police began an investigation in to allegations of sexual abuse at the school from former pupils between 1960s-1980s. The investigation was called Operation Winthorpe and concluded with the latest conviction this week. Former pupils claimed that the authorities hushed up their allegations of abuse at the time and alleged that those involved included a housemaster who fondled boys in the dormitory, a choirmaster who paid boys half a crown after molesting them, a teacher who beat ‘naughty’ boys, and a maths tutor who kept a register of pupils he punished in private spanking sessions.
The initial number of suspects was 18 — ten of whom taught at Colet Court and eight at St Paul’s. Some of the former schoolmasters are no longer alive.
In 2014 former minister and pupil, Ed Vaizey, spoke of ‘massively inappropriate behaviour’ of teachers at the school. LINK
This is a list of those who worked at the school and who have been either investigated, charged or convicted of sexual crimes:
1980: ROSS GORDON TAYLOR, 21: A kitchen porter at St Paul’s, Taylor was jailed for three years at the Old Bailey in 1980 after being found guilty of raping a 19 year old girl.
2000: PAUL TOPHAM: Former teacher was the subject of an inquiry following allegations of abuse by a former pupil during 1960s. He was never prosecuted and died in 2012. LINK
2013: TIM HARBORD, 61: Was a teacher at St Paul’s for 25 years until he was arrested on suspicion of grooming a pupil in 2013 when parents contacted the police after he had sent their son a leather jacket. Admitted he had a ‘very close relationship with the boy’. Released with no further action. (Op Winthorpe) LINK
2013: KEITH PERRY, 70: Former head of history and taught at St Paul’s for 38 years was found guilty of posessing hundreds of extreme child abuse images and received a two year suspended sentence at Southwark Crown Court. In internet chatrooms he wrote of being ‘obsessed with boys as young as eight’. LINK
2014: ALAN DOGGETT: Choir conductor and teacher at St Paul’s, as well as PIE member. Worked with Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice and ran a boy’s choir in Hampstead. Doggett paid the boys after he abused them. Left Colet Court in 1968 over allegations of abuse. Also worked at a girls school in Wiltshire. He was charged with abuse in 1978 in Hammersmith and released on bail, when he then committed suicide on a railway track. LINK
2015: ANTHONY FUGGLE, 58, Sutton, Surrey: Was a classics teacher for 20 years at St Paul’s until 2013, as well as on the board of ISAC (Independent Schools Adventure Cruises Ltd), a company that organises specialist holidays, not just for St Paul’s but for many other leading educational establishments, too. He was also invited to an Old Harrovian Parliamentarians dinner at the House of Commons by Anthony Nelson MP in 1976. Found guilty of making and possessing indecent images of children. Was given a suspended jail sentence. (Op Winthorpe) LINK
2016: MICHAEL FREDERICK ELLIS, 71, Chiswick: Former sports coach at St Paul’s 1990-1992. Found guilty of child sexual abuse and of making indecent images of children between 1973-1992. Sentenced to 8 years imprisonment. (Op Winthorpe) LINK
2016: DAVID SANSOM-MALLETT, 70, Purley, Croydon: Former master at Colet Court 1973-1975. Found guilty of child sexual abuse between 1974 and 1983. Sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. (Op Winthorpe) LINK
2016: THOMAS LAESSING, 40: Found to have been sending inappropriate messages to young girls. Was working as a mathematics teacher and head of tennis at Colet Court until he was sacked in 2016. Received a police warning. LINK
2016: CAROL CHANDLER, 55, Telford: Faced charges of abusing a boy between 1983-1985. Found not guilty at Southwark Crown Court. (Op Winthorpe) LINK
2016: STEPHEN HALE, 58, Ashford, Middlesex: Was a teacher at St Paul’s between 1983-1987, when he was forced to leave after a cleaner found sado-masachistic images and a spanking register of pupils he had punished at St Paul’s. St Paul’s told the Department for Education that he had agreed to leave having broken the rules on corporal punishment. Charged with five offences of child sexual abuse against four boys. The judge recorded not guilty verdicts on all counts. (Op Winthorpe) LINK LINK
2017: PATRICK VERNON MARSHALL, 66, Churt, Farnham: Found guilty of child sexual abuse between 1971 and 1981 when he worked at St Paul’s. Sentenced to 18 imprisonment. (Op Winthorpe) LINK
So what is it with St Paul’s School that makes them so incapable of properly vetting their staff after years of clearly letting down their pupils by exposing them to predatory paedophiles? There doesn’t seem to be a ‘lessons learned’ here whatsoever!